Roles within Mozilla l10n communities

Within Mozilla l10n communities, each individual is organized into one of three roles: Locale manager, Translator, Contributor. These roles reflect the community structure within Pontoon as well. Each l10n community has its own unique implementation of these roles, but there is a baseline set of responsibilities and expectations that Mozilla places on those contributing to localization.

This document defines the roles within each l10n community, as well as the responsibilities and expectations of each. We also define what the l10n-driver responsibilities and expectations are with regard to the community as a whole. Here we define responsibilities as what each individual commits to by accepting their role in the community. We define expectations as how you carry yourself in the role.

L10n-drivers (Mozilla staff)

L10n-driver responsibilities and expectations are multifaceted, being that in addition to being accountable to the community, we’re accountable to Mozilla leadership as well as the many teams throughout Mozilla that we support with localization. This section describes how the l10n-drivers are accountable to the community.


  • Mentor new l10n communities through the process of launching a new localized Mozilla product.
  • Communicate project updates and participation invitations in primary communications channels, like the dev-l10n mailing list and IRC.
  • Respond to reports of CPG violations within the community.
  • Create and guarantee a safe, collaborative space for all communities.
  • Work with l10n communities to increase the user base for their localizations.
  • Perform technical validation of contributions from the community to determine whether to ship contributions.
  • Create and maintain tooling that promotes a healthy and simple localization workflow for the community.
  • Recognize outstanding contributions made by the community.
  • Promote translation and localization best practices within the project.


  • Promote the growth and health of each l10n community.
  • Represent and advocate for the needs of the l10n community to the Mozilla organization.
  • Respond positively to ideas for l10n improvements from the community.
  • Utilize open communication channels at every opportunity.

Locale manager


  • Establish mentorship practices for new localizers that foster growth and lead to impactful participation.
  • Identify and train community mentors in their role.
  • Coordinate translation and l10n testing of projects within the l10n community.
  • With input and consultation with Translators, evaluate candidates for advanced roles within the community.
  • Coordinate and facilitate internal community discussions.
  • Create and maintain language resources for the community (e.g., terminology, style guides, etc.).


  • Open and frequent communication (liaison between l10n-drivers and l10n community) concerning new projects, new deadlines, and community issues.
  • Create and secure a safe space for people to participate in l10n in an impactful way.
  • Recruit and mentor new localizers.
  • Give timely feedback to community mentors and translators.



  • Submit translations for new source language content.
  • Review pending translation suggestions from contributors and provide them with timely feedback that focuses on developing skills.
  • In-context l10n testing of all submitted translations.
  • Work with managers to create and maintain language resources for the community.
  • Report issues concerning source language content issues.


  • Ensure consistent quality of the project they’re localizing.
  • Give detailed feedback to contributors in a timely manner.
  • Translate new content regularly.
  • Ensure that community style guidelines are being followed in translations that make it to the repositories.
  • Keep pending translation suggestion queue to a low number.
  • Gracefully accept feedback on their translations from other translators and managers.



  • Submit translation suggestions to Pontoon projects for the target language.
  • Request and accept feedback from Translators and Managers in the community.
  • In-context review (l10n testing) of translation suggestions that have been approved by Translators and Managers.


  • Gracefully accept feedback on their translations from Translators and Managers.
  • Avoid using machine translation.
  • Proactively request feedback from Translators and Managers.
  • Don’t take shortcuts to increasing leaderboard standings.
  • Network and form relationships with others in the community.


Each community implements these roles according to their own cultural and unique situations, in accordance with the Mozilla Community Participation Guidelines and Mozilla Leadership Agreements. For example, in some smaller communities, everyone may be Managers and the responsibilities for the role are shared among them. In other communities, there may be one Manager, several Translators, and many Contributors. We respect each community’s rights to implement these roles as best works for them, within the constraints mentioned above.

Evaluating whether someone should move into a more advanced role should be done by consulting with other experienced localizers within the community, not in a vacuum. Typically, a localizer is ready for a role change member when they have proven themselves to satisfy the responsibilities and expectations of their current role and even go above and beyond what’s expected. When considering someone for a role change, consider the responsibilities of the new role and how the candidate localizer will perform in that role. For example, when considering moving a Translator to a Manager, consider if they have mastered the responsibilities and expectations of a Translator first and whether they have the skills to successfully master the responsibilities and expectations of a Manager. Translating fluently and in a timely manner may be applicable to evaluating them as a Translator, but not as relevant to evaluating them as a Manager.

These evaluations should be done regularly and mentored feedback should be given to teach community member regularly.