Style Guide Malagasy (mg)


This style guide is intended for translators working on Mozilla projects. It provides in-depth information about the quality standards expected by Mozilla for the translation of all product components. All translators should read this guide before commencing any translation work.

This guide addresses general translation issues and specifies certain rules of style and usage specific to your language. It should be used as a guideline to avoid common typographic errors, and to maintain consistent terminology and writing style across a project’s components and indeed a product range. The guide should be used in conjunction with the current and previous product-specific glossaries, glossaries of other products of a product range, and the industry standard platform-specific glossaries, such as those provided by Microsoft.

This document may be updated or completed in the course of translation. Where no specific instruction or recommendation is specified, translators should use the phrasing and style that comply with industry standards.

General Style Considerations

Style guidelines

Follow these basic rules:

  • Original American English text tends to be rather casual. For Malagasy, only Malagasy Official should be used, except when a dialectal word is widely used; both formal and colloquial phrase can be used as long as the meaning of the source text is conveyed accurately.
  • Try to avoid long, nested sentence constructions. If necessary, break up the original sentence and regroup it syntactically.
  • Use wording that is succinct, unambiguous, and free of jargon.
  • Produce a translation that sounds as it if was originally written in your language, i.e. avoid following the original source sentence structure too closely.
  • Always bear in mind who your target audience is (i.e. an experienced computer user, a beginner, or a combination of both groups).
  • Use a consistent style throughout all product components and across a product range, to ensure that all Mozilla products can be linguistically identified as part of a group of products.

Style guidelines specific to Mozilla products

  • Please refer to the reference documentation supplied by Mozilla and any Mozilla style guides and make a note of anything significant and specific that should be noted with respect to Firefox OS smartphones.


Who will be the user of Mozilla product, translated communication, documentation or web site?

Describe the user of Mozilla’s Firefox OS smartphones in as much detail as possible, ticking several categories and adding categories if necessary

☑ Young person (under 30)
☑ Teenager
☑ Young woman
☑ Child
☑ Male
☑ Female
☑ Male or female
☑ Professional person (specify occupation if appropriate)
☑ Non tech-savvy user
☑ Computer geek
☑ Engineer

These people would use both formal Malagasy (to higher ranked people like employee’s Manager) and colloquial Malagasy (to family and friends).

Reference terminology

The following terminology sources should be used as reference in the translation:

  • Product-specific glossary, to ensure consistency across all product components.
  • Previous version product-specific glossary, to ensure consistency between versions.
  • Glossaries of other Mozilla products, to ensure cross-product consistency.
  • Microsoft / Apple glossaries, to ensure adherence to the industry standards. It is your responsibility to make sure that you always have the latest Microsoft and Apple glossaries at your disposal. The glossaries can be found at: and

Terminology not found in the glossary or style guide

  • Please make a log of any terms not found in the glossary or style guide that are used frequently in the materials. Return this log to Rubric so that the terms can be incorporated into the glossary. This increases consistency in large projects.


General Abbreviations

  • Avoid the use of non-standard abbreviations such as min. for minutes. Where no appropriate abbreviation exists, use the whole word.

Measurements and Numerals

  • Be careful of the difference in use between periods and commas as decimal markers in different languages.

  • Metric System Commonly Used? Yes

  • Temperature: Celsius

Linear MeasureKilometerKilometatraSame as Enlish
MeterMetatraSame as Enlish
DecimeterDesimetatraSame as Enlish
CentimeterSantimetatraSame as Enlish
MillimeterMilimetatraSame as Enlish
CapacityHektolitatraEktomeetarSame as Enlish
LiterLitatraSame as Enlish
DeciliterDesilitatraSame as Enlish
CentiliterSantilitatraSame as Enlish
MilliliterMililitatraSame as Enlish
MassTonTaoninaSame as Enlish
KilogramKilogramaSame as Enlish
PoundLivatraSame as Enlish
GramGramaSame as Enlish
DecigramDesigramaSame as Enlish
CentigramSantigramaSame as Enlish
MilligramMiligramaSame as Enlish
English Units of MeasurementInchPosypo
MileMailySame as Enlish
GallonGalaoSame as Enlish

Notes: n/a


  • Percentages are like in English, e.g. 85 %.

Digit Groups

  • Country/region: Madagascar

  • Decimal Separator: ,

  • Decimal Separator Description: Comma

  • Decimal Separator Example: 0,6 ; 75,05

  • Thousand Separator: .

  • Thousand Separator Description: period/dot

  • Thousand Separator Example: 13.672 ; 1.765.234.987

Filename Extensions

  • Filename extensions and graphic formats referenced by filename extensions such as BMP, GIF, HTML, PNG, TIFF must not be translated.


Acronyms are made up of the initial letters of several words that are represented by these letters. Some well-known examples are WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), OLE (Object Linking and Embedding), or RAM (Random Access Memory).

Use recognised translations of acronyms where these exist, but avoid creating new, non-standard acronyms.

If the source text does not do so, and if possible, spell out an abbreviation or acronym the first time it is used in a document, followed by that abbreviation or acronym in parentheses.

Examples: Data Access Objects (DAO) ActiveX data objects (ADO)


Product Names

  • Mozilla product names are used without definite or indefinite articles. They are treated as proper names.

Copyrights and Trademarks

Product names are often trademarked or may be trademarked in the future and are therefore rarely translated. Before translating any product or component name, please verify that it is in fact translatable and not protected in any way. If in doubt, please contact the Rubric Project Manager.

The same product may be marketed under different names in different countries. One solution is to add a note saying "Marketed as -------- in the UK etc" the first time the product is mentioned, and then continue to use the name as given in the text.

Translation of Version Strings

Please use the following guidelines when localizing version strings.

Localized term vs. English term

The preferred language in the computer world is English. Therefore, a translator frequently has to decide whether to use the (correct, but obsolete) translation or simply the English word.


In Malagasy, inflections happen very often, where the root word is kept and suffixes, affixes and infixes are used. The main word concerned by inflections are verbs, so make sure, you understand the mode of the English verb before translating and keep in mind that if in English, a verb remains the same for command/order (imperative mode) and a choice/option (indicative mode), this is not the case in Malagasy.

English exampleMalagasy examplesPhenomenon
Go to (website)Hankao amin’ny (website)OPTION
Go to xxx to...Mankanesa ao amin’ny xxx h...ORDER
Select imageHifantina saryOPTION
Select image you want to...Fanteno ilay sary tianao h...ORDER

Plural Formation

If space allows it, plural article (ireo) can be added; if not, drop out the plural article.

EnglishMalagasy, singularMalagasy, plural
ToolFiasanaIreo fiasana
FilesRakitraIreo rakitra

Verbs and Verb Forms

Always use the right verb corresponding to the action that is described.

There are different ways of expressing continuous operations in Malagasy, choose the most appropriate form depending on the correct verb inflexion:

English exampleMalagasy example
The application is loading the file.Mamatratra ny rakitra ny rindranasa.
Sending file...Mandefa ny rakitra...
Connecting to server... Different from confirmation: Connected to server.Eo an-dàlana hifandray amin’ny mpizara... Mifandray amin’ny mpizara.
Downloading...Eo am-pidinana...


Headings should convey as much information as possible about the ensuing text to help readers locate information quickly.


  • In English headings all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and subordinate conjunctions (e.g. that, until, which) are capitalized.

  • In Malagasy, the first letter of proper nouns, business names, product names etc..., is capitalized.

English exampleMalagasy example
Star LibraryTranomboky Star
Mozilla SearchFikarohana Mozilla

Capitalize only the first letter of the first word in commands, dialog box titles, and dialog box options and the first letter of interface terms

English exampleMalagasy example
Open Save As dialog box.Sokafy ny boatin-dresaka Hitahiry ho.
Click on File, and then...Tsindrio Rakitra, avy eo...
Click on App icon.Tsindrio ny ikaona App.

Hyphenation and Compound formation

General Hyphenation Rules

In Malagasy, hyphen is used to divide words between syllables, to link parts of a compound word: Example: fitaovam-pamolavolana

When a hyphenated compound should not be divided between lines (e.g., MS-DOS), use a non-breaking hyphen (CTRL+SHIFT+HYPHEN). Both parts of the compound will be kept together on the same line.


In Malagasy, noun and verb compounds are a frequent word formation strategy, where both hyphen (-) to join 2 consonants and apostrophe (’) are used to form to join a consonant with a vowel.

English exampleMalagasy example
sort codekaodin-gise

In Malagasy, compounds are derived from: any word category, excluding article, but in general, they are easily understood even if some have complex structures.

In Lists and Tables

Whenever possible, headings of lists and tables should consist of one or two words, preferably active nouns. They should be concise, even if the source uses a longer phrase.

Product Names

Application/product names are often trademarked or may be trademarked in the future and are therefore rarely translated. Occasionally, feature names are trademarked, too (e.g. IntelliSense™). Before translating any application, product, or feature name, please verify that it is in fact translatable and not protected in any way.

Microsoft product names are usually trademarked and remain unlocalized. Product names and non-translated feature names are considered proper nouns and are used without definite or indefinite articles in English. For instance, attaching a genitive “s” to trademarked product names is not feasible as it could be interpreted as a modification of such names. Additions to a product or component name are either added with a hyphen or a periphrastic construction needs to be used. For example, instead of expressing a possessive relationship by using the genitive marker “s” in English, a periphrastic construction should be used:

  1. (-) Microsoft‟s products
  2. (+) Microsoft products
  3. (+) Products by Microsoft

Product names and non-translated feature names should also be treated as proper nouns in Malagasy. Please note use of personal article ‘i’ before proper noun or business name such as Google, Apple, depending on its place in the phrase.

English exampleMalagasy example
Windows Mail shares your Internet Connection settings with Internet Explorer(+) Windows Mail dia mizara ny tefinao Fifandraisana Internet amin’i Internet Explorer
Website addresses will be sent to Microsoft(+) Halefa amin’i Microsoft ireo adiresin-tranonkala

Compounds with Acronyms, Abbreviations or Numerals

The compounds below contain either an abbreviation or a numeral followed by a component name. The Malagasy example below show how such constructions should be translated.

English exampleMalagasy example
CD-ROM drive(+) kapila CD-ROM
2-D gridlines(+) tsipikarato 2-D
24 bit color value(+) sandan-doko 24 okte

Note: It is an acceptable principle that when a technical term of the source language does not have a straight equivalent in the target language and all other translation strategies are, for purposes of intelligibility, not applicable, the term should be used as it is in the interest of maintaining the meaning of the term to the user. (Also see the subchapter on English Terminology and the Malagasy Terminology for further comments in this respect).

Note also that the translation of the compounds above is similar in every respect with the translation of other compounds in this chapter.


Capitalization, Prepositions and Articles

Avoid starting an entry with a preposition or an article because of their unfavorable effect on the overall sorting order and general legibility of the index.

Key Names

  • On the first mention, use the definite article and "key" in conjunction with the key name, for example, "the ESC key". On all subsequent references, refer to the key only by its name, for example, "Click ESC".
  • As a rule of thumb, be frugal in your use of the word "key". Use it if the key name appears alone in the sentence and the actual key name does not appear on the keyboard.


Translate English prepositions according to their context and not too literally.

Procedures and Syntax


Use the descriptor (menu, button, command, etc.) only if the source text uses it or if it is needed for clarifying the position of a term in the interface.

Procedural Syntax

  • In procedural text, which tells the user to perform certain actions in a certain number of steps, the order in which interface terms are to appear in the translation is usually top to bottom (i.e. menu, command, dialog box, dialog box controls). Maintain this sequence unless there are technical reasons preventing it.

Example: In the "Extras" menu, click "Settings" and then "Music files".

Procedural Headings

Status Bar Messages

  • Please make sure you adequately capture the meaning of messages when translating.

  • If you think a source status bar message is ambiguous, query it to make sure you provide the reader with the right information: if you cannot understand it, they are also not certain to. There is nothing more annoying than "help" that doesn't!

Usage of "Select"

Option English: Select Malagasy: Hifantina Command English: Select Malagasy: Fanteno

‘Select’ has double meaning and fits the need either for selecting one item or for selecting a section of text. For ‘Choose’, use ‘Hifidy’ and ‘Fidio’ instead. Usage of "Click"

The command form is mostly used: English: Click Malagasy: Tsindrio


Commas and Other Common Punctuation Marks

In Lists and Tables

  • Do not use a comma after bulleted points.
  • If the original source entry contains a period, leave it. If the source text does not contain a period, but you split the translation into several independent sentences, put a period at the end of each sentence.
  • Never put a period after just one word.
  • The result of this method may be that some entries within one table are with and some entries are without a final period. From a technical point of view this is acceptable.
  • The same convention applies to captions and callouts

Comma vs. Period in Numerals

  • English uses a period as decimal separator.
  • Malagasy uses comma as a decimal separator.
English exampleMalagasy example
5.25 cm(+) 5,25 cm
5 x 7.2 inches(+) 5 x 7,2 posy
Letter Landscape 11 x 8.5 in(+) Maody Marindrano 11 x 8,5 po

For thousands, English uses a comma while many other languages use a period (at Microsoft we normally do not use a space for this purpose, but we use a period instead to avoid wrapping problems). In Malagasy, a period is used.

English exampleMalagasy example
1,526(+) 1.526
$ 1,526.75(+) $1.526,75

Typographic Conventions

Consistent use of typographic conventions in documentation helps users locate and interpret information easily. Generally speaking, the source format should be followed as closely as possible, i.e. terms with a particular formatting in the source should have the same formatting in the translation.

If menu, command, option, etc. names are highlighted by bold print in the source, use bold print for the corresponding translated terms. If menu, command, option, etc. names are put in quotes in the source, use quotes for the corresponding terms in the translation.

Note that in software strings, you must use two double quotes (""xxx"") to denote names within a string. If you only use a single double quotes ("xxx"), this will cause problems with the compilation, as strings are generally denoted by double quotes.