Localization testing is similar to globalization, but this kind of testing is adapted to individual locales. While globalization tries to ensure that a product works everywhere, localization validates that the application will operate in a specific environment. For instance, if you are interested in releasing your application in both the US and China, then you would want to do localization testing for both of those areas independently. A globalization test wouldn’t be necessary since the release is localized to just two countries. So while localization may be part of globalization testing, it can and does stand alone. Another example is postal code fields. In globalization testing you would need to verify that a postal code field allowed both numbers and letters. But in localization testing for the US, only numbers should be allowed in the postal code field.
During localization testing, translations are created, applied, and verified. Preferably this is done with native speakers of the language you’re testing. The use of translators and language engineers is common for the linguistic part of localization. Correct language rules usage is ensured and the appearance and functionality of the complete product is verified.
While primarily focused on the user interface, issues with functionality are not uncommon. System variables shouldn’t be translated and significant problems occur if they are. Spell checkers must be modified for the additional languages and even the tiniest details must be paid attention.
Testing the entire application in multiple languages can be time consuming and expensive, as well as requiring some specific skillsets and knowledge of common localization pitfalls. QA Mentor’s Testing Execution On-Demand Service and our Manual Test Design and Execution Service can help arm your company with the tools necessary to navigate the technological challenges associated with getting your product multilingual. We also have a pool of testers from across the world, speaking multiple languages and able to verify translations as well as perform globalization tests.