Firefox 4 translated into three South African languages

Local will truly be lekker when Firefox 4 is released early 2011 thanks to the efforts of and its community of volunteer translators who have customised three versions of this popular Open Source Web browser to support Northern Sotho, Afrikaans and South African English.

“We are very excited to be launching full versions of this popular browser in indigenous languages, which forms part of our ongoing efforts to convert as many applications into vernacular languages and in doing so, improve technology adoption and use in Africa,” says Dwayne Bailey, MD of

“Samuel Murray translated Firefox 3 into Afrikaans in June 2008 already, so the release of Firefox in Northern Sotho is a big step forward for us. It is the culmination of work that started last year through our participation in the African Network for Localisation (ANLoc), a project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).”

While has developed a number of language extensions for Firefox, the latest release of the browser will be the first that is a complete application in either Northern Sotho or South African English.

Pheledi Mathibela was responsible for customising Firefox 4 to support Northern Sotho and the South African English version was customised by Dwayne Bailey.

The language extension packs – which are not quite as comprehensive as the full Northern Sotho Firefox version – include Ndebele, Swazi, Southern Sotho, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu.

Full versions in other vernacular languages are expected to be released in future releases of the browser, although this is dependent on the readiness of fully-translated versions.

“We encourage people to download the beta versions in their language of choice and help us perfect the results of the many months of work put in to produce these versions,” said Bailey.

The files can be downloaded free of charge and are available for Windows, Mac and Linux systems.

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Firefox 4 translated into three South African languages