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Is your software localization testing fool proof?

Is your software localization testing fool proof?

Global software is a given phenomenon today. While software in English is still largely consumed across countries, software localization is huge market (just the translation market is expected to be seven billion dollars by 2019). The common protocol is still for software to be designed and developed in English before it can be localized for specific markets.

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Globalization that includes internalization and localization has been in business ever since software development has evolved, however, the globalization process itself has undergone drastic changes over the years. Internationalization and software localization testing have also existed for a long time now, but again the overall strategy has been evolving significantly. In today’s age of very user centric software, how does one ensure the overall testing process, especially for localization, where the core product team may not have a lot of expertise on, is fool proof?

At one point translator tools did a significant piece of content translation. While this is still not unheard of, what is important is to ensure the human element is not missed. This is not even from the standpoint of ensuring all translation has been done, no typos exist, UI renders well after translation etc. This is more from a localized content verification standpoint. This is becoming an increasing need in ensuring contextually correct content is being used in global markets. There have been several instances in the last decade where cultural faux pas and issues have resulted in user discontentment, brand degradation amongst others. To ensure coverage is fool proof given the constraints around cost and time, a software localization testing effort today has to account not just for translation, UI and functional testing of the application, but more importantly content and content contextual testing. This would often call for not just language experts but native language speakers who understand the context of the content to call out issues. This has become that new element which is now softly mandated by both users and governmental bodies. A lot of native speakers including freelancers and crowd testers are stepping up to provide these localization testing services and organizations are able to flexibly leverage them in their efforts to provide fool proof global software.

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