Mozilla Uganda community translates Firefox into Acholi

In 2011, with the launch of Mozilla Firefox in Luganda, the Mozilla community in Uganda was also born. The community brings together key contributors in Uganda from all fields in order to consolidate their efforts and make them more significant. They inspire and give an opportunity for people to innovate and make the web they once dreamed of.

They are doing this through activities intended towards development of add-ons that simplify their daily web activities, localization to enable everyone access the internet in the language they understand best and developing components of the browser and third party software the enhances the internet experience.

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The community just released the Acholi version of Firefox. I caught with San James, the community leader about the innovation in the interview below.

Mozilla Uganda team hard at work

Mozilla Uganda team hard at work


How did you do the translation of the browser into Acholi?

We shared the work of translating the browser into Acholi with the Mozilla Uganda community localizers and with warchild that supported the translations.

What was the motivation of translating Firefox in Acholi?

We are targeting the education of children in the north troubled by war . We think that they need to be able to access technology in the language they understand as this is what most of them are used to according to Ernst from warchild. Translating a popular software like Firefox also helps preserve culture and language.

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What other sort of customisation have you done with the browser other than language?

For now its just the language.

Do you have any plans beyond just language translation?

Yes.  We are working on plans to have fully localized desktops in a couple of languages Luganda, Acholi, Runyankole.

Is there any arm of government involved in this project like UCC or ministry of ICT?

Recently we had a chat with the minister of ICT on how to expand the localization its still in progress but currently no arm of government.

Where can i download it?

Please this link

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4 thoughts on “Mozilla Uganda community translates Firefox into Acholi

  1. Great work but all school going children in the North with the ability to access and use computers can speak and write proper English. It’s also ironic that they’d have to use a browser in Acholi to access content in English. On the subject of preservation of language, should we interrupt natural selection? I guess this is going to end up like the Luganda version, with very few users adopting it and those who use it do so for the sole purpose of misplaced pride.

    • Frank, translating the browser first is a good starting place. But this has to be followed with language translation engines similar to “google translate” service so that also the actual content on the web can be translated to local language. Imagine Wikipedia in Acholi…tell me that’s not something?

  2. I also agree that it is a good start. There is no way one can deny his or her mother language. Ther are people who might want to become translator of Acholi language at an international level., or become book writers in Acholi language. I think this is a nice move. There are some nations in the western countries who trully cheerish their own language. Actually in some of these nations their own language is the only way you can get intergrated into their system. eg Netherlands.They do speak English, but their own language is number one , even more important than your level of education.

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