Online translator tools are plenty today. As part of efforts to go global, most organizations leverage these translator tools to create a localized version of their software. While this is a fast and not so bad option to leverage, the question is if they are fool proof. On one hand, localization testing services have become more sophisticated to offer niche services such as linguistic testing, while on the other the presence of translator tools is making the process simple and in some cases skip the associated testing effort given the automated solution available.
In our several years of experience in the realm of Localization testing services, including being the preferred test partner for several organizations, one thing we can say is that this space is as simple or as complex as to shape it to be. By this what we mean is while it is ok to leverage some translator tools to start off with they are no substitute for a formal localization engineering process including a test effort. In most cases, especially in very domain intensive businesses, the jargon is so specific that leave alone a tool – even a native speaker cannot help much. You need a combination of a native speaker who understands the domain as well.
We recently met one such client of ours who is in the global risk and compliance domain – given the amount of jargon their industry holds they were talking about developing language packs (like in case of operating systems) to handle the globalization effort of at least their prioritized supported locales – while this made complete sense, I immediately wore my tester’s hat on what it would entail for us. The foremost job here is to thoroughly test the language packs including ongoing revisions – once that is done the actual localization testing can be more of a sanity that can be taken up by someone that is not necessarily a domain expert. The overall time, effort and ultimately cost savings can be huge in such scenarios, and while this is not very common in the industry as yet, I think there is a lot of potential for language packs in the field of localization in the years to come given the strong focus of digitization in every foreseeable domain. We would be excited to work with such partners in validating their core language packs in addition to the sanity testing after the applications have consumed the content of the language packs. More power to global software in the coming years!