Large companies have been localizing their products for a long time. Now, smaller and medium size companies are attacking international markets trying to grow revenue away from home, especially with the proliferation of web-based software. When you release a multiple language supported product, not only does it have to be localized in the target language, it also needs localization testing. To conduct localization testing, you need test all the different localized versions of your product. You probably don’t have the time and resources to cover all the languages, so you have to focus and prioritize. How to set the priorities then?
Based on our experience of working with the big companies like Microsoft, HP, and Autodesk, in general, we separate the languages into two groups – European languages and Asian languages. Together with English, the major areas in the world are covered. For the European languages, we normally select FIGS as the key target languages, meaning French, Italian, German, and Spanish. For the Asian languages, we select CCJK, i.e. Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. These eight languages we call them as P1 (Priority 1) languages. Other languages like Russian, Portuguese (Brazil) etc. are usually set as the P2 languages.
In each language group, there is also priority. German is normally set as the top priority language for Europe; and Japanese is the top language for Asia. So if you can only select two languages for localization testing, you should select German and Japanese. Of course, the final prioritization for your localization (L10N) testing depends on your company’s market strategy and resources at hand.