Why does Firefox dislike Tamil?
As I write this post, I am downloading Firefox 3.1 beta 3. The download seems to be taking a lot of time, so I scrolled down to check out the list of Indian languages I could download it in. Not that I plan to download it in any of these languages, or that I even know how to translate “Release Notes” in any Indian language..
I noted Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi and Telugu. But no Tamil.
(Edit: You can see the complete list of languages and download the beta here.)
This strikes me as strange, and somewhat puzzling. Among the South Indian languages, they have every language except Tamil. There is even Marathi, if you treat Marathi as South Indian. Personally, I have never figured out whether Maharashtra is in the South or the North. Saying “West” is just a cop out, mind you. No one really says “Westie”, unless, of course you are talking of terriers. You have to be either a Southie or a Northie. Even if you are confused in your own mind as to what you really are.
But getting back to the absence of Tamil – why is this? I am sure there is some simple explanation to this puzzle.
Here are some explanations that I have come up with :
1. All Tamil users like to download Firefox in Hindi. Some of them prefer Firefox in Gujarati, but these are probably just the Ruias and their cousins. The rest of Tamil Nadu loves Hindi. No?
2. All Firefox developers who can write Tamil versions have long ago switched to Google. They now spend their time watching Rajnikanth movies at Google HQ (for I notice Chrome doesn’t have a Tamil version either). Or they are all at Microsoft, watching Rajnikanth movies (which is why Windows keeps crashing).
3. No self-respecting Tamil software developer wants to be seen as knowing Tamil. They would rather code in Punjabi. Not that they know Punjabi either, but they figure Punjabi users wouldn’t know any difference.
4. The Kannada version is really the Tamil version. Firefox developers visited Bangalore and decided that the language they heard everyone speaking must be Kannada. Unfortunately, the developers were in Malleswaram.
5. Firefox is just showing its support for the Sri Lankan government, which is why there is a Sinhala version but no Tamil version. They don’t want the LTTE to use Firefox, you see.
I am sure there are more explanations ; I have barely scratched the surface.
So please let me know what you think is the most likely explanation. Don’t hold back anything. It doesn’t have to be rational at all – anyway most things aren’t..