Open Bug 562648 Opened 10 years ago Updated 4 years ago

Prioritized locale list for fallback of strings or add-ons (language/translation fall-back; fallback is always en-US)


(Core :: Localization, enhancement)

Not set




(Reporter: Aleksej, Unassigned)


Hereafter, "minor language" and "major language" are defined by how many add-ons needed by the user are translated into it.

Imagine a user whose native or otherwise preferred language is minor (hereafter "PrMinL").

The user is extremely bad at using software in English, and strongly prefers to it a major non-English language ("MajNEL"). Still, he prefers PrMinL to MajNEL.

Can the user use the PrMinL locale? He needs add-ons, only half of which are translated into PrMinL, the rest would show up in en-US. The user has to use the MajNEL locale, so that Firefox and most or all of the add-ons show up in MajNEL.

Thus, the only users who will use PrMinL are those who either
1. are familiar with at least PrMinL and English enough for UI purposes (so localization is not essential for them, whatever the language);
2. cannot read English, but have no MajNEL they prefer to English (so they have no choice, and will probably learn to understand some UI English and join group 1).

So users who prefer a minor language and cannot edit add-ons  have to either
* use add-ons in English
* not use Firefox or any of its add-ons in the minor language at all, but to use Firefox and all add-ons in a MajNEL

The proposed solution is to make the  add-ons  or  strings  that have no PrMinL translation fall back to the MajNEL translation before falling back to English (and I guess there is no reason to limit the fall-back list to a single non-English language).

Some examples of language fall-back:
* HTTP Accept-Language header (configured at [Preferences → Content → Languages] in Firefox, has to be supported by the web site)
* GNU/Linux environment variable "LANGUAGE" (at least in Debian and Arch Linux)
* KDE 3 programs (the language selection dialog allows specifying fallback languages)
See also
Assignee: smontagu → nobody
Component: Internationalization → Localization
QA Contact: i18n → localization
Related: bug 288670.
You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.