Localization Testing methods and practices

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Localization Testing – What is it?



One of the software testing techniques that you may not be familiar with is called localization testing– also known as L10N.

So, what exactly is it? Localization testing is, of course, a software testing technique that checks the product to make sure it behaves appropriately according to its local settings and to ensure that no bugs were introduced to the software during the translation process.




In layman’s terms- the software is customized to match the targeted language and country and then tested. You would not want to be located in an English speaking country and only be able to access an application in the German language.

Why is Localization testing is so important?

If the project is designed for a specific country, then the time format, language, currency symbols, etc. should follow the standards for that specific country. These things are all concentrated in the UI and content portion of the software, so testing these ensures it will be capable for use in whatever specific country it is designed for.

With localization testing various testers will all repeat the same functions over and over again for each of the localized languages. These testers will test for errors in typography, linguistics, and local appropriateness of the user interface as well as the following:

  • The localization resources are correctly translated
  • The build includes all necessary files
  • Localized versions of the product is consistent with the function of the source product
  • The localized version contains the same elements of the source
  • No wording overlaps the buttons or are cut off, missing, garbled, etc.

There is not a strict and official set of steps that are followed in localization testing; however, there is a general outline of what must occur before, when, and after localization testing takes place.

If the project is smaller, build-verification testing must occur first; this is a small part of functional testing that is executed before QA beings.

Next the software is tested normally to find log defects or errors.

Thirdly is regression testing which makes sure any changes made during the development process has not affected the functionality of the software.

Finally is the sign off which basically states the product has been tested and is ready to be delivered to the client.

Some projects follow a slightly different set of guidelines if they are larger and need to be tested often. If this is the case, then automation testing is the way to go.

An automation testing tool to write the scripts must be chosen first. Once the tool is chosen then the scenario can be tested for localization. Scripts must then be written per the results from the test.

The last step is to collect the results and determine if the scenario is a pass or fail.

Localization testing requires hiring a domain expert and local translator which can make this testing strategy costly. However, in the end, the costs are worth it and necessary as it ensures a quality product free of localized errors.

You may also want to read about Automation testing best practices

Go to next article – Localization Testing methods and practices

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