Rubric has translated 30 000 words into SA's second most spoken language, isiXhosa.
Rubric has offered its translation services to make Mozilla's Firefox Web browser available in isiXhosa – SA's second most spoken language.
Françoise Henderson, CEO of the language service provider, says the company has already translated 30 000 words into isiXhosa and will continue to support Mozilla in the interests of broadening mother tongue access to information.
"We're proud to be associated with a very noble undertaking," she says, adding that the initiative also has commercial spin-offs.
"For a long time, isiXhosa speakers have had to put up with being served in English. We expect this pathfinder project will stimulate interest in Xhosa-translated content, which in turn will boost translation requirements."
Citing Common Sense Advisory's "Can't read, won't buy" report, Henderson says 72.4% of consumers are more likely to buy a product when it offers information in their first language. "We also learn better in our own languages," she notes.Henderson believes the new product will lead to a spike in online platforms and products packaged and marketed in isiXhosa. "It is the second most spoken language in South Africa after isiZulu, ahead of Afrikaans and English, and it deserves to have a dedicated browser, just as the others do," she concludes.
According to Ian Henderson, Rubric CTO, Firefox is available in more than 70 languages, thanks to an efficient community effort.
"Firefox is being developed along the lines of the latest thinking in software development – with a new version being released every six weeks. Alongside a large group of volunteer translators, our contribution of translation, project management and quality assurance has added isiXhosa to the list of languages Firefox is available in," he says, adding that Mozilla's coding efforts are open source, making it relatively easy for translators to contribute.
Translators who want to become involved can contact email@example.com for more information.