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Before we talk about peculiarities of managing localization settings of software under test, we should figure out why it is needed at all.

If a company develops a product for a client, who wants his/her business to be available in every corner of the globe, then the project team cannot avoid qualitative internationalization and localization testing.

The more people from different countries will use such a product, the faster the number of real and potential users will grow. And consequently, the more users are the more languages the software should have!

Also, it is worth noting that locale isn’t just a translation of a text but a process of a cultural adaptation of a text to the peculiarities of that country where this software will be used.

This material will be useful not only for junior testers but also for skilled QA engineers who need to perform thoughtful localization testing.

So, to change current locale parameters on the page with Regional settings:

  1. For Windows 10: Control Panel > Clock, Language and Region > Region > Additional Settings;
  2. Mac OS: Apple menu > System Preferences > Language & Region > General;
  3. Ubuntu: System menu > System Settings > Region & Language.

We figured out the settings; now let’s look at the correctness of testing the alphabet and font.

Testing the Alphabet and Fonts in Software

Correct displaying of font and other things connected with it is the main aspect when we’re talking about the locale and localization testing. If a tester doesn’t know well the necessary language, he/she cannot correctly check the spelling of sentences (for example, when performing eCommerce testing).

First of all, when checking, you should pay attention to the following things:

  • Word cutting;
  • The impossibility to fit the text in a fixed block;
  • Hard-coded text;
  • Lack of display of special characters;
  • Combining several lines into one;
  • The incorrect font size on the screen of a PC or portable gadgets.

Additionally, it is worth considering the fact that one country can have several official languages at once. In such a situation, only the manager and/or the client should decide whether to implement several text variations at once or use only one script.

Checking the Format of Phone Numbers/Contacts

We need to accept the fact that there is simply no universal template for phone numbers in the world. The sum of numbers, as well as their grouping, the use of additional special characters, and international prefix characters can vary everywhere. Traditionally, 7-11 digits are used to designate a contact number.

There are countries in the world where, along with the international rules for dialing a telephone number, they can use the so-called “regional” dialing option. By the way, testing the use of numbers with a short set of numbers also wouldn’t go amiss. This is another important point of a thorough test.

Few Words About Functionality

Needless to say, that if it comes to the functionality then all components should work properly on all the possible locales. Such problems are noticeable but some nuances are worth to be grouped as the most important ones:

  • Some hyperlinks can function incorrectly and redirect users to a broken version of a website;
  • Filtering can be wrong, there can be problems with the calculation of some currencies or measurement units;
  • There are situations where keyboard shortcuts differ depending on the regional setting selected by a user.

A Brief Conclusion

Localization testing (or even internationalization one) is a good and quite useful process that should be given maximum time. It is worth remembering that localization isn’t just a translation of texts. It requires a comprehensive approach to orthographic rules of a particular country (region), as well as its cultural nuances.

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