Localization Testing is no new entrant in the software engineering world. Localization functional, UI, translation testing have long existed right from the early years of software development, especially as software consumption went global. Specialized localization testers inclusive of translation testers who knew the language, have helped teams ship global software. However, just as how the overall software engineering industry continues to evolve so does the space of localization testing too. Of increasing significance in today’s localization scope is linguistic testing, where the tester understands the cultural elements of a given locale and incorporates those elements as well in the testing scope. Beyond cultural elements, testers are also having to pay heed to the socio-political-religious influences in recent times.
Our linguistic expert recently reached out to me about a conference that focuses on Islamic Finance. To quote an online definition verbatim “Islamic finance refers to the means by which corporations in the Muslim world, including banks and other lending institutions, raise capital in accordance with Sharia, or Islamic law. It also refers to the types of investments that are permissible under this form of law”. One may say such new developments first need to be understood at the business and product owner levels to be translated into requirements, on which developers and testers can build on. While there is truth to it, at the core, these scenarios further necessitate a tester to think big and out of box and understand the market implications of engineering a product. All these further add to the scenarios he can creatively bring to the table, even if they have not been captured in the defined requirements. These call for the tester to be more locale aware and these growing bounds of localization testing certainly force the tester to be not just end user centric but also, sensitive and aware of all elements of play at the market level.