In a development that brings out the online convergence of love for Tamil and passion for free software, Mozilla Firefox – a free, open-source web browser, considered one of the most secure – will soon be available in Tamil.
A group of over 10 volunteers who have been translating the browser menu and other settings into Tamil, for over a year now, have confirmed the browser can be downloaded from the Mozilla website after Tuesday.
In the Tamil Mozilla, the options are kopu for ‘file’, viruppangal for ‘preferences’, and nagal yedu for ‘copy’, among others.
The Firefox browser has been translated into around 120 other languages, including some Indian ones. But the Tamil browser boasts of a near-complete translation of all the terms.
“The other browsers that can be downloaded from the Mozilla site are a mix of English and the regional language. Our focus in Tamil Translation was to find the easiest possible translation for every English word on the browser, in Tamil," said Arun Prakash, an engineering graduate associated with the Mozilla Tamil Translation team, a group of volunteers who are enthusiastic about Tamil and computing, which initiated and finished the entire translation.
“There is no need for a Tamil keyboard, as the keyboard shortcuts will be the same. Settings, history, tools or download instructions will be in Tamil, and the browser will lead you to the Tamil version of the website you are looking for, if one exists," Arun said.
The volunteers were given a glossary of most frequently-used words to aid their translation work, after which every change was peer-reviewed.
Mozilla, whose development depends on the contributions made by volunteers across the world, releases a new version every 3-4 weeks.
But the volunteers said they would just need to make changes to the new fields as the old translations would remain intact.
The Tamil Mozilla project is just a starter, and the efforts of the translation committee can be put to bigger projects such as in video/audio playing applications and projects websites, Arun said.