South African translators learn how to localise


Two days of ANLoc training by and Wits Language School has started 10 translators on their road to becoming certified localisers. As part of their training these students will localise a number of open source applications into various South African languages.

The two days saw the students exposed to a variety of topics about localisation and specific topics about localisation in South Africa. The discussions around the importance and history of localisation in South Africa as well as South African linguistic issues was cause for lively debate.

The translators gained an overview of good localisation methodologies and an exposure to actual localisation using open source localisation tools. They translated a small portion of Tuxpaint using Virtaal and used OmegaT to translate section 6 of the South African Constitution (this section introduces the 11 official languages).

Students are now hard at work completing two assignments. The first is designed to expose them to some critical issue around localisation and African languages. The second is a practical localisation exercise where the students will follow a formal localisation engagement with They have chosen to localise the following applications:

  • Pidgin - Sotho
  • InfraRecorder - Zulu
  • Tuxpaint - Sotho
  • GCompris - Xhosa
  • Virtaal - Sotho
  • FreeMind - Afrikaans
  • OpenProj - Xhosa
  • Stellerium - Northern Sotho
  • BPBible - Tsonga
  • Firefox - Northern Sotho

All of this is preparation for training in October where they will receive training from TILP and write the CLP (Certified Localisation Professionals) exam.