Mozilla Firefox now in Luganda

Mozilla Firefox, one of the internet web-browsers, has been translated into Luganda. This means that more people can now use the internet in this local language. Luganda is one of the widely used local languages across Uganda’s central region. Speaking at the launch on 29th Oct. 2011 in Kampala, the Prime Minister of Buganda Kingdom, Eng. JB Walusimbi pledged the Kingdom’s support towards similar initiatives.

“This translation is a contribution towards national development. Businesses are now online and if we are to join in, it is better to do so in a language we understand best. I request you to develop user-friendly terms and I call upon Luganda users to get involved by sharing views or asking questions on this interface. As a kingdom, we shall partner with you,” he said.

Some of the words one is likely to come across include ebikozeesebwa (tools), wagulu (up), wansi (down) and obuyambi (help). The translation, spearheaded by Avant Garde Solutions, brought on board a number of partners including Makerere University’s School of Computing and IT, CIT, Makerere’s Institute of Languages, African Localisation Network and the International Development Research Centre among others.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Jude Lubega the Head of IT department at CIT congratulated the team for its endurance and urged them to embrace bigger tasks. “I am challenging you to localize open office. It is virus free and open source. This is the way to go,’’ he emphasized.
Other programmes that have been translated into Luganda include VLC Media player, Virtaal for language, AbiWord, Pootle, and TuxPaint.

The Director of Avant Garde solutions, San James Olweny, called upon good Luganda writers to join hands in availing and developing content. Over seventy languages have been translated across East Africa, making the web more accessible. The team is now translating Mozilla firefox into Acholi. Localisation of languages has been embraced by many of the developed nations, but it is yet to receive the recognition it deserves in Africa, as a fast tool for development.

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