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Localization Testing

More information about Localization Testing

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Written by Markus
Updated over a week ago

What is localization in localization testing?

Localization represents the process of adapting content to the culture of a country.

This process has different steps which include the internationalization of the product, the translation of the content, documentation, UI, and the testing phase.

The goal of localization testing is to ensure that the product meets the needs and expectations of users in different regions and can be used effectively and correctly by them.

Note: Localization Testing is a separate topic from manual Functional Testing, and it doesn't interfere with general rules for those tests. If something is in the scope of Localization Testing, it doesn't mean that it is, by default, in the scope of Functional Testing.

For instance, in Functional Testing typos are OOS while they are in the scope of Localization Testing.

Localization testing scope includes:

  • Checking the translation correctness of texts, tooltips, descriptions, messages

  • Checking of localized materials into the product: documentation, marketing assets

  • Checking that the product is adapted for a specific target audience by its cultural, linguistic, religious, and political references

  • Testing the content and visual aspects of the user interface and files in the target language

  • Testing of formats of currencies, numbers, dates & times, phone numbers

  • Testing overall functionalities related to content, languages, and local settings,

    e.g. changing store locale doesn't change the store language, search and sorting in the target language, system stores data correctly in the target language

Localization documents

  • Glossary

  • Rulebook & style guides

  • Translation memory/terminology database

Type of testing in localization testing

Linguistic testing

Types of mistakes

  • Missing translation (text is shown in the source language)

  • Grammar mistakes, typos

  • Punctuation mistakes

  • Formatting issues

  • Visible code snippets

Some examples on a web page:

Translation improvements

When possible, provide a translation when it's missing, or context to your improved translation suggestions directly in the expected results.

Also check for:

  • Homonymous or Synonyms

  • Wrong tone

  • Poor readability

  • Formality level

  • Consistency (e.g. consistent terminology across all the applications)

  • Grammatically correct words or sentences that have different meanings

    depending on the context in which they are placed

Cultural testing

Testing translation text in context

Verify that the product is adapted for a specific target audience by its cultural, linguistic, religious, and political references.

  • Religion

  • Sexual, revealingly dressed characters and vulgar language

  • Prejudices and stereotypes associated with culture and the people themselves

  • Wars, military conflicts, terrorism

  • Politics, including the specific view of different countries on history

  • Other native cultural references

UX/UI testing

  • Products' layout is broken/inconsistent

  • User interface appearance with content

  • Images, banners with missing translations or culturally inappropriate imagery

  • UI elements broken/cutout or offset (menu options, buttons...)

Compliance testing

If applicable, consider the following:

  • Known copyrights or intellectual properties

  • Peculiarities of the legislation and culture of individual countries

  • The age restrictions for applications

  • Legal requirements in different regions. E.g., in a certain country foreign exchange transactions are prohibited to everyone except the Bank of that country

Example of how the famous cartoon "SpongeBob" changes or ignores translations in different countries: Italian, Spanish & French copyrights.

Colors and symbols

Specific colors and symbols, which may have different meanings depending on the country, should also be considered when testing localization.

Example: In Western cultures (like the United States and most European countries), red often symbolizes danger, love, passion, and stop signals in traffic. However, in China, red signifies good fortune, festivity, and prosperity.

Additional topics

Test if available:

  • Sound and soundtracks

  • Videos and other multimedia

  • Realistic or historical scenes

  • Phrases or quotes

  • Copyright infringement


⚠️ Excessive localization warning! ⚠️
Not everything needs to be localized.

Some elements must retain their original appearance without translation. E.g., trademarks, logos, abbreviations, product names.

If you are unsure, consult the guidelines, rulebooks, or glossary documentation provided in the test instructions.

Examples of localization defects

Localization defects are issues that occur when a website or application is not properly translated or adapted for different languages and cultures. These defects can confuse, and frustrate, and even hinder the product's functionality for users in different regions.

  • The localized content does not fit into the boundaries set by the interface (cut off, scrolled)

  • Offset of content or UI elements

  • Overlap of content or UI elements

  • Missing translation

  • Unreadable font/size

  • Incorrect translation or transliteration

  • Subtitles don't match audio/speed of video or multimedia content

Incorrect translation example:

  • Original English text: "Save changes"

  • Translated Spanish text: "Ahorrar cambios"

Explanation: In this example, the Spanish translation is incorrect. The verb "ahorrar" means "to save" in the context of saving money, not saving changes in a software context. The correct translation should be "Guardar cambios".

Standard bug type categorization

Context -> Translation correctness in a specific context

Culture -> Appropriateness with a particular culture
Tone -> Right tone to the target audience
Consistency -> Consistent terminology across all products Format > Currency, date & time format

Grammar -> Grammar, punctuation, typos
Missing translation -> Text not translated, or translated in a language other than the target language

UI ->Design & layout
Functional -> functionality related to content


Linguistic verification

Language features are tested. The tester needs to make sure that:

  • Consistent terminology is used

  • There are no grammatical defects

  • There are no spelling defects

  • Punctuation rules are followed

  • Correct text direction is used (right to left or left to right)

  • The correct names of brands, cities, places, positions, etc. are used

User interface (or appearance)

It is important to make sure of the following:

  • All captions in the pictures are localized

  • The layout of the localized version is displayed and behaves correctly

  • Line breaks on pages/screens are placed by the rules of the target language

  • Conversations, pop-ups, and notifications are displayed correctly

  • The length of the lines does not exceed the existing limits, and the text is displayed correctly (sometimes the translation text is longer than the original and does not fit in the allocated space)


It is necessary to test if the localized application is working correctly, so attention is drawn to:

  • Functionality of a localized product related to content and language settings

  • Functions for entering information

  • Support for special characters for different locales and languages

  • Support for keyboard shortcuts

  • Support for various fonts

  • Support for various format separators

If you want to participate in the next localization test run, head over to your Dashboard to take a quiz and become officially a localization tester!

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