[Article] I18N Testing - I

QA with a specific focus on testing the product for language compatibility. This includes testing the product behavior in identifying and initializing from its language environment and ability to customize to that environment. The white box testing would typically include checking the code for i18n compatibility standards (E.g. using the correct API etc.). The black box testing typically include running the whole functionality regression test on different language environment and exercising the interface with native language strings. The cultural specific information's (Like date/time display) needs to be checked as well.

Localization QA is done after the final localization/translation of the software. The emphasis is not more on the functionality, but on checking the appropriateness of the translation in that GUI context. Also involves checking the GUI layout and making sure nothing is truncated etc. Its typically done by the native speaker of that specific language. According to literature, the size of strings can be increase by upto 60% on internationalization, so one way to test whether UI breaks or not is using the artificial string which are lengthened by 60% word by word.

The I18N part of the QA requires no knowledge on the specific language, even though knowing the language will come in handy. Especially while setting up the language environment. When you do the I18N QA your products is not translated yet, so your product interface will still display in English. There could be some error messages propagated from the environment that might confuse you. But usually the error numbers will help you lookup in the English error message repository.

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