What is L10N testing(Localization)? How to do it

In this article we are going to learn about L10N (Localization)testing and how to do that.

What is localization? Localization is a term in software that refers to support any language, any location culture. We can easily understand by the meaning of supporting different language, but what is location culture. This location culture means, the culture format of any geographical location such as Date format, Time format, currency format, number format etc. This is a vital issue when we need to deploy a world-ready software. It is also known as L10N testing

Localization translates UI (may changes some initial settings) to make it suitable for another region. Localization Testing checks the quality of a product for a particular Location/culture. This test is based on the results of globalization testing(verifies the functional support for that particular culture/locale). Localization testing may be done with a localized version of a product. Localizability testing does not focused on testing localization quality.The test focuses on:
- Affected Areas by localization(UI/content)
- Culture/locale-specific, language-specific, and region-specific areas

But, these should be included in localization testing :
-Checking Basic functionality
-Deployment(spatially Setup /upgrade) tests under localized environment. For OS, we should select any language version of Windows/Linux as a platform for the test after installing the target language support or that language specific OS(like Japanese XP).

 Popular Scopes for localization testing :
-Check application resources and attributes
-Check linguistic accuracy (correctness)
-Check linguistic meaning (following culture)
-Check typographical errors.
-Check that documentations, online Help, messages, interface resources, and command-key sequences are consistent/sync with each other. If localized versions of the product exist , check the translation is consistent with previous release.
-Check dependency to system/input/display environment standards.
-Check usability of the UI.
-Check sensitive content(political/religious etc)
-Check your company identity is correct.(market-specific information about your company like contact information or local product-support phone etc).

Some known types of checking for application resources
Checking Content – Static & dynamic content such as product catalogs, search results, etc.
Checking Dates – Is the date January 1 or 1 January or 1st Jan.
Checking Characters/symbols – Different languages have different sets of characters.
Checking Postal codes – In some countries, postal codes contain letters.
Checking Phone numbers – Different formats for different markets.
Checking Direction – Some languages are written left to right, other languages are right to left.

I used to make checklist before doing . My sample localization testing checklist:

- Spelling Rules
- Sorting Rules
- Searching Rules
- Upper and Lower case conversions
- UI Sizes
- Printers
- Size of Papers
- Operating System
- Key boards
- Text Filters
- Hot keys
- Mouse
- Date formats
- Measurements and Rulers
- Currency format, value separator,currency symbol
- Country related codes(phone/postal/country/state name and code)

...I will try to include more testing scopes incrementally..

... Thanks...:) 


  1. For best localization of apps, using a localization tool is a very efficient method for the translation part of the work. I suggest using https://poeditor.com/, it has helped me a lot so far.