Reflections on my time in Lima

This week I returned from Lima, Peru, where we held a localization hackathon and invited active members of the Mozilla localization community in Latin America to attend. Being in Lima with these Mozillians was like getting together with a group of old friends, even though I was meeting some of them in person for the first time. We laughed, we joked, we had deep discussions, and best of all, we worked. We translated strings, reorganized community translation workflows, tested localized versions of Firefox, and planned for upcoming releases of new localizations. It was maravilloso!

Latin America holds a very special place in my heart, as with other regions of the world that I’m regularly involved in. Being a Spanish-speaker, the more I’ve learned about the cultures of Latin America, the more endeared the region is to me. I do whatever I can to help and mentor the localization communities within the region. I visit whenever possible, translate projects when needed for both Mozilla and other open source projects (sorry Fuser, I’m part of the reason there’s never anything to translate for the es-MX iOS project ;-) ). I also recruit new volunteers for Mozilla l10n communities in LATAM and work to improve my cultural understanding of the region as a whole and as individual areas by maintaining my Spanish, learning Brazilian Portuguese, and reading A LOT.

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I have thyroid cancer — part 2

It’s been almost exactly three months since my post about having thyroid cancer. It’s also been almost exactly four months since receiving my diagnosis. I’ve been happy to update people as they’ve asked me about my status. Since it’s been a while since my first blog post, I figured it was also time for a more public update. Here are some of the common questions I answer when giving an update about my cancer’s status:

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(Non-alcoholic) True American

If you’re a fan of the American TV show New Girl, you’ve likely seen the episode titled Normal and been introduced to what looks like the craziest/funnest looking game ever imagined, True American (here’s a clip). I thought that this was some game that they made up specifically for the show. Boy, was I happy to be proven wrong last night when I found the rules to the real True American drinking game! Now, those of you who know me well know that I don’t drink. Being that this is an awesome game, from an awesome show, I imagine that I’m not the only non-drinker who thought this game looked crazy awesome and wanted to play it. I figured I would benefit that segment of humanity by adapting True American for non-drinkers like myself.

So without further ado, here is how to play the non-alcoholic version of True American!

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Evaluating localization tools: formulating the right criteria

It can be very difficult to evaluate a localization tool and decide if it fits within your localization process and delivers, not only as advertised, but also according to your localization strategy’s specific needs. Your tool evaluation criteria may depend on where localization takes place in your development cycle, if you’re a freelance localizer or selecting enterprise localization solutions, and how well the tool manages your (or your client’s) language assets.

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Agile localization: l10n PMs, step aside

As we’ve read in Dunne’s book, one of the roles of the project manager (PM) is to faciliate all parties in their ability to efficiently complete their tasks. This often translates to what many of my colleagues have already labeled as, “File Pusher”-syndrome. I understand where this perception comes from; the PM is most visible it seems when they’re facilitating a project’s execution. Now that the world is moving to the Agile methodology, localization PMs need to find a leaner way to work and a less intrusive way of facilitating project execution.Why not turn to automation to fix this problem? Smarling already did, and it seems to be working well for them.

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Ancestry Passion

If you couldn’t already tell from the fact that I’m very white and very blond (hence the name mero g├╝ero), my ancestors came from the Nordic countries, primarily Sweden. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve made a sincere effort to learn more about my ancestors who took the long trip from Sweden and immigrated to the US.

My great, great grandfather, Lars Magnus Olson, was born in Arvika, Sweden and raised between Arvika and Kristiansia (Oslo), Norway after he and his siblings were orphaned at a young age. In Kristiansia, Lars met missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), converted to the Mormon faith, and left his homeland in search of a better life in Zion (Utah). I learned that in making the trek West after reaching the US, the train at the time only ran from the East as far as Laramie, WY. This meant that to reach Salt Lake City, he had to walk the remaining distance. Thanks to Google Maps, this is what that looks like.

141 hours of walking, ugh!

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“What do you do for a living?”

My career is non-traditional. By non-traditional I mean that stating my job title does not give anyone the faintest idea of what I actually do (e.g., you say, “Engineer,” everyone gets it). As you can imagine, this has caused me some problems whenever people ask me what I do for a living. I’ve had to practice many 30-second explanations of what I do. Want some examples? Maybe some of you have heard one or two of these at one point:

  • “I help make Firefox available to people all over the world.”
  • “I help global volunteers produce a regionally appropriate version of Firefox for users in their countries.”
  • “Have you heard of localization? It’s the process of taking a product and adapting it to meet the needs of consumers in a particular region of the world. I do that for Firefox.”
  • “I drive a variety of projects that allow Firefox and other Mozilla products to be available in over 90 languages around the world.”
  • “It’s my responsibility to make it easy for global volunteers to adapt Firefox to meet their local needs.”

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(Vegan) Chicken Tikka Masala

I get asked for this recipe all the time, and have even had to refer to it in local Indian markets from time to time. Here’s the original, with the vegan substitutions.

Ingredients

1 med. red onion
1.5 lbs cubed chicken breast (or tofu)
1 c hung yogurt (milk, almond, or soy)
1 pt heavy cream (coconut milk)
2 lg. tomatoes
2 T garlic ginger paste
1 T lemon juice
2 T turmeric
4 T MDH brand Tandoori BBQ Masala mix
1 T Tandoori paste
2 T salt
2 T red chili powder
2 T melted butter (coconut oil)

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