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What You Need to Know About Localization Testing

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Localization testing is a software customization process in which a product or application that was earlier designed for a particular market can be made available to foreign markets. Its all about quality checking the localized version of a product. Principles of this method are concerned to check if your product is in line with the locale settings that are governed by the culture of the geographical location that will be native to your product.

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Localization testing, as you have just understood will require the translation of all native language strings into the targeted languages. Along with the target language requirement, your product should also look into Graphical User Interface (GUI).

Content and GUI are the two parameters that come under the umbrella of localization testing with efforts directed to match your product with the innate requirements of your target market. In a nutshell, localization testing is mainly concerned about quality checking the parameters linked to linguistics, content or UI, culture and all those that are dictated by the geographical placement of your product.

A Testing Concept That Surpasses All Language Barriers

A tester who has the source code commonly written in English will perform the same set of test cases on both the localized and source codes; simultaneously.

Say for example, you are launching a Chinese product and wish to test it as part of your localization activities. You don’t need a tester who is proficient in speaking the official Chinese language of Mandarin Chinese or Standard Mandarin.

You can assign the testing job to a tester who can test your Chinese product with the code written in English and execute a set of test scripts on it; without any hassles. He will ensure that the localized product will behave exactly the way in which the English version was designed.

The Requirements of a Localization Tester

You should understand the fact that localization testing is conducted once functional testing is completed. Localization testing is conducted by testers who do not follow any of the testing languages. Such testers who are tech-savvy simply add the native language of the locale to your product mix. They are also concerned about all the parameters that will impact the usability and functionality of localized platforms.

Localization testers thus ensure that the local version looks, feels, behaves and functions exactly the same as the source version. The only difference is that your product mirrors the native language linked to the locale in which it is launched and operates.

A Localization Tester should:

  1. Demonstrate some technical expertise
  2. Understand and identify issues that fundamentally come along with the software during localization
  3. A skill to holistically identify key differences in languages so that he/she can spot a number of issues that emerge due to localization

Scope of Localization Testing

You may have the opinion that functional, linguistic and localization testing procedures are entwined. But, it is not the case. They are distinct procedures that need different types of testing resources. Hence it is important that you have a clear and precise understanding of each and every testing procedure, with specific reference to Localization testing which is now the topic of discussion.

Below are the various issues that can be tackled by Localization Testing.

  • Defects in the user-interface and layout including redundant or missing controls, overlap of content and issues concerning alignment
  • All the non-functional features of your product
  • Since the content of a localized product is assembled dynamically, Localized Testing procedures will identify the presence of jumbled dialog boxes and scrambled web pages
  • Bugs in concatenated strings and strings which are composed using placeholders, can be unveiled
  • You can also address the issues concerning text expansion, namely text bleeding and truncations with Localization Testing procedures
  • When you experience a problem with all the extended characters in accepting a tested system
  • Any issue concerning the “search and replace” functionality
  • You can rectify incorrect formats of calendar along with date and time that should match your geographical locale
  • When you encounter and have to manage files with extended characters featuring in their file name or directory path
  • Localization testing allows you to sort issues concerning the language and grammar of your target market
  • You can effortlessly rectify the bugs in converting from different currencies to your home currency along with the inclusion of the monetary symbol of your country or area in which your product operates
  • You can check for consistency in messages along with online help that is offered to your customers
  • Printed documentation and command key sequences can be also checked
  • Scenarios concerning Windows applications mirroring redundant or missing hot keys can be tackled
  • When your product is battling incorrect metric conversions with unmatched numeric formats, negatives and separators
  • Input, display and system requirements can be checked against the demands your environment comes up with along with confirming their adherence
  • While you can unveil and fix typographical errors, you can also check the usability of the UI
  • Localization testing procedures handhold you to assess your product to check whether it is matching the cultural requirements of your target market
  • To identify and address scenarios which have omitted politically sensitive content; the significant part of your product
  • Along with checking for the appropriateness of video content, you can also ensure the adherence to basic parameters like keyboard, mouse, operating system, audio interface language and accent

The Importance of Localization Testing To Your Global Business Model

The premise behind localization testing is to introduce a product that delivers functionalities in accordance with the demands of the target language. Calling digital marketers across the globe to spend time and money on localization, localization testing should only come as a revenue-saver.

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If your product is released with a number of language-centric bugs, it does not do you any good except showing your product in a bad light to global customers. Hence, the onus is on localization testing to ensure that your product is error-free so that customers across the globe will embrace and patronize it.

You should also be wary of the fact that you can expect bugs even after you have localized your product. Which means localization testing is the only instrument that helps you steer clear of the issues that can cost you a fortune if they are remain undetected. This way, localization testing procedures ensure quick and budget-friendly means to fix issues and come up with a localized product that is user-friendly in more ways than one.

Final Thoughts

All in an attempt to come up with a holistically interpreted product that matches the cultural and geographical needs of your target market, you should strive towards the implementation of appropriate business processes.

You should also be watchful of governmental and regulatory requirements that are innate to every geographical area. Thus, it is a big task to localize your business logic so that consumers across the globe patronize your product and bestow you with a good return on investment.

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