Since people seem to be eager to learn more about localization testing, we’ve decided to run a series to share our knowledge, based on the top 10 Google Suggest queries. What is the best definition of localization testing? Read on!
The Definition of Localization Testing: A Handy Explanation
Leading the Google Suggest list is “localization testing definition”. Microsoft Developer Network says “Localization testing checks how well the build has been translated into a particular target language”
If we remove the geek speak, this definition translates in to: Localization testing is the testing process to validate whether an application is ready to go live in a foreign market.
Now, the requirements for marking an application as “ready” completely depend on the company. This is no different than regular software testing – differences in release strategies across companies mean that some bring their product to market early on (with potentially more bugs) while others wait until it is more mature.
Localization testing typically ensures that:
– linguistically, the translated content communicates the original content’s message properly to the target audience and is adjusted to regional expectations (do you use Fahrenheit or Celsius? Pounds or Kg?)
– cosmetically, the user interface of the localized application does not represent any problems due to the change in character sets and content (ie Arabic and Hebrew goes from right to left, and German is way longer than English)
– functionally, the application functions as expected and is adapted to regional preferences (postal codes have letters in Canada so validate accordingly)
The weight of each category certainly depends on the product that is being localized. The linguistic aspect will be more important in a marketing oriented publication while testing a mobile application will require more focus on cosmetic and functional aspects. If you want to dig deeper, you may be interested in checking out our comprehensive localization testing checklist.
Have your own question to suggest? Please pass it along in the comments.