With more than seven billion people and around 7000 languages, don’t you think it is time to go local? The digital world today has become a unified entity altogether, behind which, the reason is- localization. By celebrating unity in diversity, the tech market today has expanded its horizons to target specific locales catering to the needs of every individual in particular. With at least 72.4% of the world consumers using native applications to shop online, one notices the increasing need of making an application localized in order to make it universal. But this comes under the umbrella of globalization, starting with internationalization, wherein one needs to make sure that an application has the ability to support various region-specific languages, and then embark on pseudo-localization using mock strings in order to perform functional testing; this makes the process of localization a lot smoother wherein the main strings from the translators are retrofitted in the build. The process then needs to incorporate thorough functional testing again with linguistic verification, making sure that before deployment into production, the application works according to the required specifications of specific locales.
Imagine a scenario of a banking application, in which the strings are replaced from “Retry” to “Repeat”. This would have dire consequences for billions of users who would face double transactions than just “retrying” their initial one. With our team of experts, we have made sure that every application which goes into production caters to the requirements of variation in content, translation and UI, making it native-specific. This also, then, throws light on the significance of linguistic testing done under localization, wherein the tester considers the cultural nuances and the changing world scenario in order to avoid linguistic fallacies or cultural misinterpretations. Even our recent presentation during Qualloquium’17, talked about the testing challenges that arise in Indic languages due to a linguistic skill gap India, especially, wherein the complexity of these characters add to the already built potholes of errors in translation and cultural understanding. Thus, the process of linguistic testing is definitely strenuous and the need for linguists to have inter-disciplinary knowledge of the language as well as the domain is preferred, but at the same time, the need to start testing early and simultaneously with the DevTeam is equally important to eliminate as many errors as possible.
Keeping functional testing as an ongoing process, localization spreads its wings over usability as well as accessibility where, in the former, testers need to pay heed to the cultural variations so that the user experience is not compromised, and in the latter, localization plays a key role in making sure the components of an application function properly by being able to support localized capabilities, for instance, localized audio visual clips. The imperativeness of localization testing is pretty evident considering the fact that the way to amalgamate the global market is by making it localized. Testers then, need to be careful by not just being user-sensitive but by also being aware of the subtle factors working in the market.