A quick internet search provides examples of marketing, brand, and UX issues when localization testing is treated as an afterthought. Clairol marketed a curling iron as a “mist stick,” even though mist is slang for manure in German. Colgate offered a toothpaste in France named “Cue.” Alas, that was also the name of a French adult magazine. UI in America is radically different than UI in Germany – something XBOX learned when releasing a new German dashboard that drew outrage. When entering an international market, it’s critical to have QA pros that understand translation nuances, culture and customs, and technology preferences of each location you target. While we can laugh about these mistakes now, it’s never funny if it happens to you.If you don’t perform localization testing as part of your software testing strategy, it can be more than embarrassing: it can lead to rollout failure in local markets.What is localization testing?Localization testing analyzes and validates that an application fits a specific target audience’s linguistic, cultural, and other needs. It often involves more than just linguistic translation and may include adjustments to numeric/date/time formats, currency/keyboard usage, sorting, symbols/icons/colors, and cultural references to avoid misunderstandings or insensitivity.Localization is the process of ensuring an application looks and feels right to the target user. Localization testing verifies an application’s functionality and usability in a specific region. It checks native UI, language, currency, date & time formatting to meet the standards of that country. It must use language correctly and align with cultural norms. Users who download an app or software expect it to make sense: in their native language, with their native currency, and without wonky UI issues. Failing to test these things can lead to costly misinterpretation and rejection of an app or product. They may reject it and find an alternative if it doesn’t reflect their culture, language, or lifestyle.How to Perform Localization TestingBuilding a solid framework for localization testing should start with outlining four key components:Define the countries and regions you want to coverDefine the variable you are going to localizeCommit to continuous testingDefine your KPIsTo ensure your product is ready for release, you must utilize testers who understand localization testing and the local culture of your target region. Some things are highly nuanced and easy to miss if it’s not your native language or local environment. It’s also about more than just language. Localization testing should encompass functional, language, linguistic, and translation testing.Functional and UI Localization TestingUI localization, including issues like overlapping elements or truncationsApp functionality, such as matching translations to UI functions“Normal” sized buttonsUntranslated textValidation of inclusivity in designLanguage TestingGrammar, spelling, and punctuationCurrency, symbols, icons, pricing, and paymentsRight-to-left language (RTL) evaluationClient-specific app terminologyLinguistic and Translation TestingUnnatural or inaccurate translationsConsistency of language across the appIdiomatic testing, ensuring the right tone and relevanceStaffing an all-star testing team For a successful global release, thorough localization testing is crucial. Test with local experts in all localization aspects, including language and cultural differences, swiping and device functionality, and the interaction between translated UI and functionality. Many companies today have embraced distributed testing as a valid and faster way to get products to market – without the hassle of staffing quickly with each new country/region. With a distributed testing team, you gain accurate localization from native speakers that will understand the nuances of language and images. You can also achieve faster results as you can test across multiple time zones.Testlio provides global localization testing experts who are fully vetted and fluent in functional, UI, language, linguistic, and translation localization. With access to thousands of real devices and operating systems, you get experienced testers to help identify issues and report even subtle language, cultural, technical, and inclusivity factors that can impact your success.