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Google, Mozilla and Wikimedia projects get Maya language translations at one-day 'translathon'

Alexis Santos

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Twenty native speakers of Yucatec, Mexico's most widely spoken Mayan tongue, met last Thursday to help bring the language to Google, Mozilla and Wikimedia projects. The event, dubbed Mozilla Translathon 2012, was organized to provide translations for Firefox, Google's Endangered Languages Project, the WikiMedia software that powers Wikipedia and 500 crowdsourced articles, to boot. Finding the right words, however, can often be a tricky proposition. "There are words that can't be translated," Mozilla's Mexico representative Julio Gómez told CNNMéxico. "In Maya, file doesn't exist. Tab doesn't exist." Gómez continues to explain that the group may keep foreign words as-is, or find other terms to represent the same ideas. In addition to software localization, it's believed that the effort could allow Maya speakers to "recover their identity and their cultural heritage," according to Wikimedia México president Iván Martínez. If you'd like to peruse wiki articles in the indigenous language, check out the source links below.

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