Introduction to Localization Testing

Share article

Localization Testing

Read all articles on Exadel QA best practices

Have you ever been in a situation where the website you want to view is unavailable in your native language? Probably at some point, yes — so you know how frustrating this can be? When users encounter this situation, they are most likely to choose a different website with the same or similar product or service, but in their native language.

Did you know that Chinese and Japanese languages are occasionally written right to left or vertically top-to-bottom with the vertical lines proceeding from right to left in some ‘newspaper’- like contexts? Even sometimes they combine all of these writing directions on the same page. And China has more internet users than any other country according to the latest statistics, (for comparison, there are 854 million internet users in China and 313.32 million internet users in the United States). But at the same time, the Mandarin Chinese language has a 19.4 percent share of internet usage, second only to English. This means that Chinese users frequently must search the web in other languages.

And that is just one of many examples of the problems users from the countries like Arabic ones, Israel, etc. may come across when surfing the Internet.

The good news is that world brands learned a long time ago to create value through presenting their business to users in diverse countries in their local language – internalization and localization.

Localization vs Internationalization

Localization is when software can adapt to content and processes to different cultures, languages, regional-special aspects, and technical requirements of specific locations and regions.

Internationalization refers to all the processes and practices to develop and design an app to facilitate localization. An internationalized application can be localized with greater ease and efficiency. Its abbreviation follows the same pattern: “i18n,” because there are 18 letters between the “i” and “n” in the word “internationalization.” The process of internationalization simply makes applications more globally flexible and therefore ready for localization.

What is Localization Testing?

Localization testing is a software testing technique used to test whether the localized version of a product meets the cultural, linguistic, and sociological requirements of a specific region. UI and content are the main areas affected by localization testing. The term is often abbreviated as “l10n,” because there are ten letters between the “l” and the “n” in the word “localization.”

Why Do We Do Localization Testing?

The main goal of localization testing is to verify how suitable an application is to the specific region in question as localization will increase customer loyalty to your brand, and ultimately increase your customer base in a given region. Adjusting your pages, products, or services to new markets with the help of localization will facilitate faster and more effective business growth.

Implementation Of Localization Benefits

The advantages of implementing localization into your software testing process are as follows:

  1. Proper localization creates more efficient testing processes, therefore lowering the testing costs.
  2. Users are more likely to engage and remain loyal if there is regional language support as part of the localization initiative.
  3. Scalability. Testing for localization can help you understand the number of visits from users and ensure that you can be aware about performance load in the market
  4. Reducing support costs. Localization testing helps to reduce the number of issues your regional customers experience with your products and decrease the cost of eliminating bugs.

Areas of Localization Testing Coverage

Localization tests should cover:

  • Validation of application resources
  • Verification of linguistic accuracy
  • Typesetting errors
  • UI usability
  • Cultural correspondence
  • Writing direction

Main Tips on How to Introduce Localization Testing

  1. List the countries and the main regions where your application plans to be involved.
  2. Research all region-related rules, regulations, customs, conditions, user expectations, linguistic dimensions etc.
  3. Create a check-list with the steps of introduction of the localization testing on the project.
  4. Use browser settings for localization testing.
  5. Charles or Fiddler are useful tools for localization testing for any type of application. They help to check that the request and response are sent according to the internationalization and localization requirements.

Wrapping Up

Localization testing means a software testing technique that is used to check if an application or a website possesses functionality and usability best suited to a particular locale. Verifying linguistic accuracy, UI usability, sociocultural dimensions and other features according to W3C standards to optimize localization enables us to be more assured that the product is likely to be successful in a given region.

In the next article we will get into more details about localizing RTL languages and its peculiarities.

Author: Maryna Varabyova