A software product is mainly tested with the intention to verify and validate its functional and performance attributes, so as to meet the needs of the users and stand on their expectation.
Apart from the functional and non-functional quality, a software product must also adhere to the localization standards, to fulfil the needs and requirements of the users, belonging to a specific culture, territory or area.
Localization testing encompasses the testing of various culture or area related parameters of a software product, such as user interface, language, settings, etc.
Linguistic testing may be seen as a subset of the non-functional testing, which is used to evaluate the context and language attribute of a software product for a particular area or audience.
A software product needs to have flawless content and error free language for its respective localized version, so as to enable its end-users to understand the features and working of a software product, in an easy manner. Further, most of the users may judge the quality of a product, based on its context. It may severely affect the organization name and brand in the local market.
It is pertinent to mention that although a non-indigenous user may find the error(s) in the content and the language as a minor problem, but a local user may take this problem as of major severity due to difficulties in using & understanding the product, which may lead him/her to dump the product, and will avoid to go for its next version or release in the future.
Although, at some extent they sound similar, but have differences between them. Both testing types, often seen as a same testing approach, due to the evaluation of local features of a software application. However, localization testing and linguistic testing emphasizes on different aspects. The former examines the localized functional and non-functional features including its correct functioning, appearance, usage, etc. whereas the latter emphasizes on the context- grammar & rules, language standards, rules and regulations.
For testing the linguistic feature, generally a translator is deployed, who may go through & uses the localized version of a product, to detect out the flaws present in the content, with respect to the local area. However, the product owner, may not want to grant complete access to the translator, to make use of the software application, keeping in view the software's integrity. This hinders him to have complete check-up of the product, which may include frequent changes in the features or functionalities and subsequently needs changes in its translated version.However, an organization may follow some of the best practices, to carry out the linguistic testing as stated below.
It may be seen as one of the cost-saving solution, employed by the organization, where organization's employees, proficient in multiple languages, are used to carry out the linguistic test over a software product.
However, it might be possible that the language proficiency of all the employees does not meet the criteria of specific number of languages used in the product, then the organization may opt to chose external economical resources, such as students, which may easily perform the linguistic test, at a much lower cost.
A better and reliable approach, to hire and bring linguistic experts onsite. With this approach, an organization may ensure the flawless execution of the linguistic tests, along with its involvement in it, so as to monitor and control the testing process, and helps to carry out immediate changes in the software product.
Sometimes linguistic experts may find themselves out of schedule & time, to work on the onsite environment. Thus, an organization may create and set up infrastructure to provide remote access to the linguistic experts, to work, at their convenient, keeping in the view the integrity and secrecy of the software product.
With the secrecy, confidentiality and integrity associated with a software product, a company may not want to bring linguistic experts on the onsite environment or may not want to grant access to their product, before its market release. In that case, capturing screenshot of the required product screen, with the help of certain automation tools for creating screenshots, and thereafter may be provided to the linguistic experts to carry out the test.
However, the rate of investment should also be consider while considering this approach, as it requires good amount of time and efforts in purchasing, setting up and programming the tools, such as if it is required to test a software product for more than 200 languages, then it will be beneficial to consider this method.
In short, it may be concluded that the linguistic features of a software product can't be ignored, as it directly impacts the company's value in the local market. With the incompetency of the organization to carry out the linguistic testing, it may approach the above stated practices or may outsource the 3rd party for the task, to ensure flawless and accurate context and language in the software product.