What is Localization Testing?

Posted on Dec 12 2012 - 5:56am by Raj

What is localization of an application?
First of all, we need to know what the meaning of localization of an application is before we deep dive into the concept of localization testing. Localization is a development process where we modify the application for a particular region. This may involve a change to the language texts and even some changes in the application behaviors based on the local culture needs. Generally, when the product is stable in the current version, we go for localization.
What is Localization Testing?

Now once the application is customized for a local version we need to do some testing to make sure all the changes are fine and as per the requirement specification. Now following areas are typically tested in localization testing:

a) UI testing

This is the major area of testing for a localized application. Some of the important areas need to be checked in the UI testing are:
1) The localized version must have the same look and feel of the original version.
2) All the text appearing on the UI must be translated to the local language.
3) Generally the translated text gets extended. So we need to make sure it does not make the GUI look bad. So it is often observed that dialog box, etc. in the localized version is little bigger than the original version.

b) Culture/locale-specific and language/region-specific areas

1) A localization tester should think about the target region’s ‘Character Sets’ and ‘Keyboard Layouts because there is guaranteed to be a major distinction between original version’s and the localized version’s character sets and keyboard layouts. So consideration needs to be given towards tiny areas, for example, hot keys, uppercase and lowercase conversion, garbled translation, etc.

2)  Application Functionality: The localized version must have exactly the same functionality as the original version. To make sure this, the usual functionality tests need to be executed. Setup and upgrade tests need to be run in the localized test environment. Application and Hardware compatibility tests should also be planned in accordance with the products target region.

3)Documentation Consistency: When delivering a localized product it must be ensured that localized documentation (manuals, online help, context help, etc.) is provided.

Things that have to be checked are:
1. The standard of the language translation.
2. The completeness of the interpretation.
3. Verbiage is utilized consistently in all the documents and application User interface.

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