This blog lists out some localization testing best practices and tips based on experience we have collected over the years.

Localization Testing Best Practices

In executing many localization testing projects over the years, we’ve developed a checklist of best practices that we use for every localization testing project and continue to update as we gain more experience.

1. Translation
This is the most basic check point. The text and help documents should be checked first to make sure they are translated into the local language, and can be understood properly. This does not require all team members to learn the local target language. One person is enough with other test team members checking other aspects of the localized software.

2. Text Expansion
When English is translated into other languages, the length of translated content may be increased. This is called the text expansion. Text expansion can lead to some problems, such as truncation, no line breaks, or buttons automatically extended which may lead to a window layout change; sometimes resulting in system crashes too. Additionally, text allocation of memory accommodating English text may be adequate, but not enough for other language text.

Other major areas include:

  • Character Encoding
  • Hotkeys and Shortcuts
    Extended Characters
  • Sorting, Case-Capitalization
  • Direction (from Left to Right or Right to Left)
    • Text as Graphics
    • String Concatenation
    • Content Mismatch
    • Data Format
    • Configuration and Compatibility Issues

Getting your software ready for the international market means more than simple translation. Localization testing best practices need to contain specific procedures and checklists, and aimed specifically toward the type of software and the target language in order to find these types of localization defects.