Localization Testing Checklist

What is meant by 'localization testing'?

The term 'localisation' refers to a zone or region or simply any particular geographic location.

Localising a software application means that a software application will be loaded on the client machine, residing at any part of the world, irrespective of the language, territory or code page, being able to adapt to the client system specifications. So localisation testing can be defined as testing an application for its conformance to the language or regional specifications of the target market.

Localisation Testing

A good example can be a game application. A game may be developed at any part of the world, but it is generally published worldwide. Hence when the game is distributed across different regions, it has to adapt itself to the prevalent locale standards (language, date etc.).

With rapid increase in globalisation, the concept of localising applications is gaining momentum. We can relate this with the overwhelming response that Android apps has received worldwide. Android, owned by Google, which has a worldwide audience is available on Google Play covers a wide range of countries like Korea, Japan, India, Brazil and Russia. Localisation should be encouraged as it promotes an app all across and gather user reviews, so that the development plan can follow a certain path of execution.Few examples of Google play apps are- weather applications, gaming applications, news applications, various ecommerce applications,have become crucial in the upliftment of a new era of digital world.

The right Perspective:

The end user will not accept something that is defective or has bugs in it. Hence the developer/tester must make sure that a user does not face any issues when he installs the application on his machine/device.

  • A common defect is in display, that is, in GUI translations. Often the GUI elements tend to overlap, strings get truncated and so on.
  • Appropriate error messages must be displayed when an issue occurs, like validation error.
  • Shortcut or hot keys must work correctly.
  • Dialogue boxes and titles must reflect the appropriate tasks to be performed.
  • Search and filter functions must perform as expected.
  • Time and date formats must work fine.
  • Include online help files and user manuals.

Localisation Checklist:

  1. Functionality testing - This is to ensure that the destination system is adapting well with the source interface. Functional testing includes the following:
    • Interactive text input based on different locales.
    • Font support must be there across the various regions
    • Date, time, currency and numeric values must adhere to the specific locale standards. They must strictly follow the rules set by the user locale.
    • Format separators must work appropriately (eg. Hh:mm:ss)
  2. Linguistic Verification testing - This testing revolves around testing the linguistic aspect, by reviewing target with source language application. The aim of this testing is to review translation of every screen and help topic, in runtime context. It emphasises on any network, file access or functional issues.

    This testing consists of the following:

    • Accuracy of the translation is important. Therefore it is strongly recommended to thoroughly verify how precisely the language is being translated at the target locale.
    • Check for typographical errors.
    • Check for any text that may get truncated.
    • Verify whether online help, printed documentation, messages and various interface resources are consistent.
    • Conformance to system's input and display features.
    • Check the usability of the UI.
    • Assess whether the developed application fit into their cultural norms.
    • A very important factor is to make sure that the information about that specific market including website links, contact information and local product-support contact, are correct.

Conclusion :

For the success of a business or to be specific- an application, it is necessary to forecast the risks that might be involved to make sure that we are delivering the right product that meets the customer expectations. So a checklist comes to our rescue and helps to mitigate the chances of defects to a great extent.