“Lost in Translation” or What Problems Accompany Localization Testing Services

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The goal of localization testing is to customize a software product that was initially developed for the local market to sell it in international markets. In other words, it is the process during which software apps are adapted to a certain location or language by translating their GUI and adding individual logic components. The testing helps to validate whether the software is ready for usage, in particular, region / culture and is appropriate for the target audience.

Localization testing services are delivered to check if the localized product is linguistically accurate and fully functional. Typically, local staff is requested to verify the quality of the translated text.

When testers perform desktop testing or mobile testing, they use their professional skills, knowledge and experience so that to do the work efficiently. But those who are about to run localization testing for the first time, are likely to ask themselves: “What is to be tested? These languages are unknown for me!”

By the way, translation efficiency is not the only thing to be considered during localization testing. Without any doubt, the text must be grammatical, logically and syntactically correct, but sound localization requires much more that just this.

What Knowledge a Tester Should Have to Execute Effective Location Testing:

  • The app language can be chosen either by hand or in browsing / OS language settings. It would be great if you had a virtual machine with an already installed software of locations needed. When modifying the configuration of this device, a tester should attempt to leave original settings almost unchanged, because some users are sure to need the non-default config.
  • When providing a service quality assurance, a tester does his best to ensure the proper performance of particular software through detecting and fixing the system’s errors and avoiding the problems when offering solutions to the customers.  
  • The correctness of translation should be validated by a native speaker at best, a professional translator or another person that has some knowledge of the language, though. If the tester does not know the language at all, it is possible to use several online translators/dictionaries simultaneously and then compare the results to identify which one is the most correct.
  • When it is possible to perform the input with the localization language – if the user needs to enter any data during application performance/security testing, the testing services providers should ensure that data can be entered by the user in the language of the location and that the application will display and process all the native characters that were correctly entered by the user.

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