This is the planning page for coordination and idea exchange for the translation of Free Software such as Mozilla Firefox, OpenOffice.Org, Gnome, KDE and finally targetting Ubuntu to Swahili and the cooperation given by IT+46, FreeCode, Tanzania LUG, the Ubuntu Community and other voluntaries involved.

Umoja project

Umoja noun 11/- Root -moja 1 unity, oneness 2 singular 3 harmony 4 alliance, association


Website and repository

News, Forums, Blogosphere and Wikis


  • Summer 2008 Geir Isene, CEO of FreeCode, visits Tanzania and meets people from the KlnX team. The idea to reactivate the Swahili translation project starts.

  • 2008-10-07 FreeCode assigns the project to Rubén. Information about Swahili translation projects compiled in the Ubuntu Wiki.

  • 2008-11-21 Emanuel from Tanzania joins FreeCode and starts working in the project that is to become Umoja noun 11/- Root -moja 1 unity, oneness 2 singular 3 harmony 4 alliance, association.

  • 2008-11-24 Contacted the Ubuntu Mozilla team for advice on FF3 translation. They advise us to contact directly Axel and Seth from Mozilla.
  • 2008-11-25 Contacted IT+46 for advice on FF3 translation. Positive feedback from Alberto.
  • 2008-12-01 Mailed with Håvard (Norwegian translation Mozilla guy) and he is willing to help us with technical issues related to translations and upstream pushing of them.
  • 2008-12-02 Met the Norwegian OOO coordinator: Axel B. He adviced us on how to proceed with general translations guidelines regarding Kiswahili translations for OpenOffice and KDE specifically.

  • 2008-12-02 Inviting several institutions and organizations to take part in the translation work and/or support our project somehow
  • 2008-12-02 FreeCode to provide us with IT infrastructure for our project (SVN, Wiki, Web based dictionary)

  • 2008-12-04 Meeting with Og Maciel - Launchpad dropped for translations in order to better cooperate with upstream (Mozilla)

  • 2008-12-08 through 2008-12-10 IT46/FC/Tanzania LUG meet in Oslo to design a community based strategy for Firefox Translation. Alberto from IT+46 is the contact person for Swahili Translation in the Mozilla and OpenOffice.Org teams.

  • 2008-12-10 Internal alpha release. Files imported form 1.x release
  • 2008-12-12 - 2009-01-05 Translation of new strings intiated in Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania. The team achieved a translation of over 80% of all Mozilla Firefox and XUL strings. Special thanks go to Sebastian Liduke, the Tanzania LUG and the team of voluntaries in Dar-Es-Salaam. Your are the real heroes!

  • 2009-01-05 First public alpha release
  • 2009-02-12 Preliminary Roadmap for Swahili OOO translation - we are targeting the 3.2 release
  • 2009-02-12 Meeting between Umoja project members and SUN Microsystems. Sun is positive to our project and willing to help us allowing some exposure of the project and contact within the Sun OOO/StarOffice team
  • 2009-03-28 First public beta release
  • 2009-03-29 Second public beta release - testing
  • 2009-04-01 Presentation of the Umoja Project under an event of ANLoc (The African network for Localization) in Cairo, Egypt

  • 2009-04-15 Presentation of the Umoja Project under Community ONE North in Oslo, Norway: '''The Firefox and OpenOffice.Org African experience''' by Alberto Escudero Pascual, IT +46 and Emanuel Feruzi, FreeCode Int & Tanzania LUG

  • 2009-04-16 and 2009-04-17 Presentation of the Umoja Project under the GoOpen conference in Oslo, Norway

  • 2008-04-15 through 2008-04-18 IT46/FC/Tanzania LUG meet in Oslo to finalize a roadmap for a community based strategy for OpenOffice.Org Translation to target the 3.2 or later release


  • Create a SVN server [DONE]
  • Create a wiki for the project [DONE]
  • Make contact with all upstream translation leads:
    • Mozilla Team [DONE]
    • OpenOffice [DONE]

    • Gnome
    • KDE
    • Ubuntu
  • Get technical support contacts with upstream people:
  • Make an ubuntu image (UCK) with:
    • Kbabel + Localize + poedit + pootle (resource area) [DONE]
    • SVN (GUI+CLI) [DONE]
    • PO files in English [DONE]
    • Kiswahili dictionary. kamusiproject

    • Create localization guidelines for Swahili, examples
    • msgmerge

Swahili related information

Translation status

In general. For translations we should cooperate with 'upstream' for the following projects: Firefox, OpenOffice.Org, KDE, Gnome, XFCE. The rest of translations could/should be done through Rosetta - the Launchpad translation interface which is the translation platform of Ubuntu.






Metric and notes

As of 25. November 2008


OOO Team

Dr. Alberto Escudero Pascual

Last release 1.1.3

X - no OOo2 or OOo3 translation

No real activity/progress since 2004, migration to 2.0.x tested in 2006. No internationalization issues. All patches for 2.0.x upstreamed


FF Team not well organized

Contact information unclear

Last release is 1.0.3 - No real activity/progress since 2004

Around 5800 - all unstralated for FF3, Migration from 1.0.3 to SVN 20081208 completed (it46) 36% savings

blogcompilation on how to Translate Mozilla software


No team - we need to start one

No contact

No release

over 43000

Swahili - nothing translated yet


Team exists

Not specified

Nothing done since registration in 2004

Not in KDE metrics


Swahili Translations for Ubuntu 8.10 @ Launchpad

The Team

Getting started

over 450000

The team seems to include lots of previous contributors

  • We should consider XFCE as an alternative after other translations are complete. No team, but we could start one here too!

About Ubuntu-Upstream translation teams and collaboration in general

Blogs, Forum threads, discussion and more

General Information on the Swahili Language

Defining Swahili (Kiswahili)

Countries with Swahili (or dialects) speaking people

From the CIA World FactBook:


  • Swahili (along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area)
  • Internet country code: .bi
  • Internet hosts: 163 (2007)
  • Internet users: 60,000 (2006)


  • Shikomoro (a blend of Swahili and Arabic)
  • Internet country code: .km
  • Internet hosts: 6 (2007)
  • Internet users: 21,000 (2006)


  • Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili)
  • Internet country code: .cd
  • Internet hosts: 2,209 (2007)
  • Internet users: 230,400 (2007)


  • Kiswahili (official)
  • Internet country code: .ke
  • Internet hosts: 2,120 (2007)
  • Internet users: 3 million (2007)


  • Mahorian (a Swahili dialect)
  • Internet country code: .yt
  • Internet hosts: 1 (2007)
  • Internet users: NA


  • Kiswahili (Swahili) used in commercial centers
  • Internet country code: .rw
  • Internet hosts: 1,592 (2007)
  • Internet users: 100,000 (2007)


  • Kiswahili or Swahili (official), Kiunguja (name for Swahili in Zanzibar); note: Kiswahili (Swahili) is the mother tongue of the Bantu people living in Zanzibar and nearby coastal Tanzania; although Kiswahili is Bantu in structure and origin, its vocabulary draws on a variety of sources including Arabic and English; it has become the lingua franca of central and eastern Africa; the first language of most people is one of the local languages

  • Internet country code: .tz
  • Internet hosts: 20,757 (2007)
  • Internet users: 400,000 (2007)


  • Swahili
  • Internet country code: .ug
  • Internet hosts: 546 (2007)
  • Internet users: 2 million (2007)

UbuntuSwahiliTranslators/UmojaProject (last edited 2009-04-08 08:36:32 by fcnoos-fw03)