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7 Ways to Improve Your Multilingual Application Testing


5 min read

Written by


Argos Multilingual

Published on

14 Sep 2021

Getting your application in front of a global audience is critical, and an investment in multilingual testing is the best way to make sure your applications behave the way you want them to everywhere in the world.

Taking an app global is no small feat, as worldwide scale brings with it a whole new set of challenges. Your app needs to work in additional languages, which means more work for your testers. Here are 7 things we recommend doing to make the process as smooth as possible.

Get proper translations from proper translators.

Native translators are professionals who use their mother tongue and deep knowledge of their own culture – hiring them will increase the effectiveness of your app while avoiding potentially embarrassing mistakes.

Consider culture.

One of the biggest challenges involved in multilingual testing is the fact that each language is inextricably linked to a specific culture. This is another area where native translators are also critical, as they can often assist with translating humour, cultural references, and other items that simply don’t work when translated literally.

Know what makes your app tick.

Knowing as much as possible about your application’s functionalities as well as your business needs will make it easier to modify language and testing functionalities.

Build and use a dynamic test environment.

If your app has been hosted in English as well as Spanish, it’s not enough to simply carry out identical test processes in both languages. Your app may identify the right language for the interface from a web browser’s language setting, a configuration within the application, or some other unintended parameters. To carry out a more realistic test process, it’s necessary to perform your testing from two different systems – one with an English OS and another with a Spanish OS.

Execute your initial tests in English.

Since you may not have an idea of all the languages that your app will support, executing your tests in English will help you in find your way in other languages. Keeping terminology and UI elements in their original non-translated form will help testers execute and track test cases.

Test labels first, then proceed to other controls.

It’s a good idea to begin testing another language version of your app by considering the labels first. English labels are generally shorter than translated labels, so it’s crucial to detect any problems associated with label truncation and wrong word wrapping. Move on to check other controls of the app for correct translation as well as any UI issues. It’s very critical for the app to provide the right error notification in other languages, so the test needs to generate every possible error message.

Pay attention to UI.

When testing UI, remember to pay attention to the directionality of text – knowing the writing direction is critical when estimating how much work is involved in creating applications in a new language. Right-to-left text can be more complicated to work with, and the organization and directionality of the app layout may be negatively affected.

A Chilli approach

Our colleagues at Chillistore typically propose a core testing team to review available reference materials and familiarize themselves with your product, and we also recommend that localization testing services be conducted on the localized product versions by the testing core team before any TVT happens.

All testing methods can be combined into a customized approach that suits your needs and release cycles. We’ll assign a dedicated testing team to your project and document a bespoke project test plan that includes project goals, an agreed scope, a testing approach, a test case development (if needed), milestone delivery dates, highlighted risks (and appropriate contingencies), and reporting to agreed standards.

To learn more, get in touch with Chilli or contact us here.

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