The Cloud Native Glossary is a project led by the CNCF Business Value Subcommittee. Its goal is to explain cloud native concepts in clear and simple language without requiring any previous technical knowledge. We are in the process of translating the English version of the Glossary into as many languages as possible. This week we focus on Bengali and the team that localized the Glossary for Bengali speakers! 

About the Bengali Glossary

Bengali is said to be the second most beautiful language in the world (right after French) — it is charming, sophisticated, and has a touch of love. With about 300 million native and 37 million second-language speakers, Bengali is the fifth most-spoken native and the seventh most spoken language in the world! It is the national language of Bangladesh and one of the 23 official languages in India, spoken in the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura, and Barak Valley of Assam. It is also widely spoken in the Indian union territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In 2002, Bengali was named the honorary official language of Sierra Leone to honor the 5,300 Bangladeshi troops who were part of the Sierra Leone Peacekeeping Force. 

Bengali is the only language for which people fought and sacrificed their lives. To honor the February 21, 1952 incident, UNESCO named February 21st International Mother Language Day in 1997.

Here’s some context: In 1948, Bangladesh was a part of Pakistan. At that time, Pakistan was divided into East and West Pakistan, modern Bangladesh being East Pakistan. Although most of East Pakistan’s population spoke Bengali, the Pakistani government didn’t grant Bengali an official language status. 

On March 11, 1948, students of the University of Dhaka and other city colleges organized a strike to protest the omission of the Bengali language from official use. The protest continued for the next four years, and on February 21, 1952, students broke Section 144 while protesting for their right to speak in Bengali. Police opened fire and killed several students. The government reported that 29 people died that day — a tragic day for Bengali speakers that ultimately led to the recognition of Bengali as an official language. 

Why do you think localizing the Glossary in your language is important?

Knowledge should be open to everyone! Most native Bengali speakers were born and raised in Bengali. Those who speak English learned it as a second language and mostly use it in professional settings only. And then there are so many people who don’t know English at all. Without a Bengali Glossary, these concepts and terms aren’t accessible to them at all. 

Cloud native goes beyond tools and technologies for developers and architects. It impacts an organization’s culture and approaches, making it relevant to different audiences. Having a resource non-technical Bengali speakers can rely on to learn about cloud native, seemed really important to us. 

Meet the team

MD Ikramul Kayes: A second-year undergrad student at BRAC University, Ikramul is a Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador who’s passionate about learning about tech every day. When he heard about the CNCF Glossary project and its goals, he got excited and immediately wanted to be part of the Bengali team. He recognized the unique opportunity to work with a new team for a good cause.

Umme Abira Azmary: Abira is also a second-year Computer Science undergrad at BRAC University in Bangladesh who was looking for opportunities to contribute to open-source projects along with her academic studies. When joining the CNCF Glossary project, Abira was thrilled as it helped her learn many new things while building new connections.

MD Shahriyar Al Mustakim Mitul: A machine learning, DevOps, and open-source enthusiast, Mitul is also in his second year at BRAC University to complete his Bachelors in Computer Science and Engineering. Besides contributing to the Glossary, Mitul is AWS Cloud certified and a maintainer of the Bengali Kubernetes docs. He’s passionate about community work and a TensorFlow User Group Dhaka organizer. Because of his community work, Mitul became a GitHub Campus Expert, AWS Community Builder, Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador, Auth0, GitKraken Ambassador, and much more. A true believer in open source, Mitul plans to contribute to more projects and advocate for more Bengali folks to join this amazing community.

Why did you decide to localize the Glossary?  

We strongly believe that technology should be open to everyone. This means that young people should have the same opportunities as seasoned professionals. A student or young professional who watches a live stream but doesn’t understand the technical terms might feel demotivated if the definitions they Google are overly technical and hard to understand. Even worse, they might feel cloud native is not for them and drop it entirely.

That’s where the Glossary helps. It’s the ideal resource because it briefly describes “what it is,” “the problem it addresses,” and “how it helps” in simple words — ideal for anyone getting started with the topic. That exemplifies how vital the Glossary is in general. Now, we want to make it even more accessible and easier to understand for Bengali speakers. The Bengali Glossary will make it much easier for Bengali speakers to learn these concepts, which is really motivating and why we are all working on this so passionately. 

How has the experience been?

For us, the entire experience has been awesome! We were all new to open source, and the Glossary was our first CNCF project. The maintainers were all very helpful, and we really appreciate all the guidance we got to get this project rolling. We still need contributors, though. If any Bengali native speakers are interested in joining our team, please reach out on the #glossary-localization-bengali channel on the CNCF Slack. We also hope our story might inspire more folks to get into open source, no matter which language! 

Any lessons learned you’d like to share with the community?

Never lose hope and look for opportunities! Take our own MD Shahriyar Al Mustakim Mitul’story. MD was determined to contribute to a CNCF project within his four-year Bachelor’s degree. He knew he had to work hard on his technical skillset to become a valuable contributor. One day on Twitter, he learned about the Glossary’s localization effort and thought it was the perfect fit. MD started the Bengali team, and we all began contributing. We are all open source contributors and have a Bengali Glossary — that makes us incredibly proud! In short, dreams do come true if you never lose hope. It might not be a huge thing, but luck sometimes favors you when you work hard.

How and why should others contribute

We believe CNCF Glossary is the perfect project to start your open source journey. Because these are non-code contributions, you don’t have to be an expert in coding yet (although you do need to be familiar with the theory). And localizing is even easier than contributing new terms because someone already did the research and wrote a good definition. At the same time, you will learn how to contribute to a big project. Contributing will surely help you professionally and for future more technical open-source contributions.

Join the localization effort 

Want to help localize the Glossary into your native language? You can either join an existing team or start a new one. Either way, join the #glossary-localizations channel on the CNCF Slack and say hi. There you’ll meet lots of friendly Glossary contributors happy to help and point you into the right direction.