Priscilla Mahlangu, a 25-year-old intern at Translate.org.za, an organisation which translates open source software into South Africa's 11 official languages, has been selected for an internship in the GNOME Women's Outreach Program.
Sponsored by international companies Collabora, Google, Mozilla and the GNOME Foundation, the project seeks to involve more women in free and open software development.
As part of the application process, Mahlangu translated a substantive amount of the GNOME interface into isiZulu.
Says Mahlungu: “Localisation is my passion and I can't imagine doing anything else. Not many South Africans have computers communicating with them in their own language, so I am excited about localising the GNOME interface into a local language for the next three months. I always say, everything that is happening now is history in the making.”
Dwayne Bailey, MD of Translate.org.za, comments: "We are proud to be part of this volunteer community and very happy that one of our young female interns has been chosen out of twenty-seven applicants. We're proud of all the interns that have spent time at Translate and are especially proud of Priscilla's achievement and excited about what she will personally learn and what she will contribute to the Zulu language. We're excited to be mentoring this bubbly young lady during her three months with GNOME."
The GNOME Outreach for Women internship projects were announced on 16 March 2011. Women from around the world had to respond to quick consecutive deadlines as part of the application process. Eight strong candidates from North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa were chosen, with Mahlangu being the only South African.
The aim of the GNOME Project, which started in 1997, was to produce an open desktop environment. It has since grown into the most popular desktop distributed with free operating systems (GNU/Linux and Unix). Used by millions of people across the world, GNOME has an extensive and motivated community of people working on projects such as software development, system administration, user interface design, fixing bugs and much more. GNOME developer technologies are also used in a large number of popular mobile devices.