Localization Quality Assurance Testing: Why and How?

Quality Assurance

So you’ve decided to expand your consumer base and make your content accessible to users in another locality. You’ve had your content translated into the local language, and you’re good to go.

Or are you?

Before you send that content out into the world, it is very important to put it through QA (quality assurance) testing.

Why QA is Important?

Some business owners may be concerned about passing the content through an additional testing process which may be expensive and slow down the time-to-market.

The truth is, the costs of releasing content that is not quality-assured can be much greater than the costs of the QA process.

Low-quality translations or content that is not well-adapted to a customer’s culture may confuse or offend them. They will be unlikely to try it again, and worse, may share their discontent online, through bad reviews or negative comments. It may be difficult—or even impossible—to recover from this blow to your company’s reputation. When it comes to promoting your brand, starting off on the wrong foot can have disastrous results.

Types of QA Testing

International Readiness Testing: This is a good test to run before you begin the process of localizing your content. It’s a preventative measure that can save you a lot of headache later. The QA team will check your product to see how well it will function in different languages, both in content and in functionality. Identifying potential issues before you begin can help you plan how best to proceed with the localization process.

Functional Testing: While your content may have been tested for functionality in its original language already, it is important to test it again in the target language. You need to be sure that the right translations appear in the right places; that the font and/or text direction of the new language is working right; that the date, time, and currency changes are correct and functional; and that the user interface is working just as well as it works in the original language.

Linguistic Testing: It’s always a good idea to have someone other than the original translator review the content. For one thing, translators aren’t always editors, and even a well-translated text may need some proofreading. For another thing, sometimes the translator hasn’t been given the correct context for the text, which may result in inaccuracies. This is especially true for websites, which often have buttons or menus that are not full sentences.

What to Look for in a QA Team?

Native Speakers: It is impossible to assure linguistic quality without being a native speaker of the target language. Even someone with high proficiency in this language may miss nuances or references that only a native speaker would know.

Engineering Expertise: While a language specialist may be able to simulate the user experience, without the relevant technical know-how, they will not be able to test the product thoroughly. The QA team should include engineers who possess technical skills, product knowledge, and a strong understanding of the localization process.

Efficiency: A good QA team should have the process streamlined for efficiency, saving you time and money. Different companies have different methodologies for achieving this. Do your research and choose the team that works best for you.

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