On 2nd November 2017, when Coca-Cola released its ad in Saudi Arabia with the tagline “Change has a taste” after King Salman abolished the age old driving ban on women, it received a controversial response- praise for abolishing the ban and on the other hand, criticism over disrespecting the sentiments of the community for using this ruling for its own profit. I give this instance specifically, as it brings to light the cultural nuances that may affect a product’s reception and the effort that needs to be made in order to amalgamate and unify these nuances.
We already know how globalizing software products has become crucial in bringing the world together. And under this itself, the canopy of internationalization and localization cater for making applications locale-specific. But an important area that also needs to be taken into consideration is linguistic testing. Although, localization takes care of the UI, content and functional elements, the imperativeness of conducting linguistic testing is to ensure proper cultural and inter-contextual usage, which in today’s day and age becomes an element of concern. People from various backgrounds, cultures and ideologies come in the loop while testing to ensure that a product is not in conflict with the users’ sentiments. With the example given above or with many others in a similar vein, cultural nuances go way deeper than one’s understanding. While language translation is a must, to be conscious of a locale’s behaviour, habits, customs, religion, cuisine etc., is equally important to make applications acceptable and hence, usable by all. The role of linguistic testers also goes beyond than just testing for diction but also images, graphics, tables, font size etc.
Thus, when we talk about a thorough linguistic test coverage, it initiates from the design itself moving onto checklisting all linguistic requirements, majorly the cultural aspect which encompasses a number of attributes. This is how the larger aim of conglomerating cultures, ideas and people will be realised with an unbiased focus on the linguistic subtleties.