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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Software Localization - some details in terms of how the process work - Part 5

In the previous post in this series (how to get the right resources for localization purposes), we explored how to ensure that we have the right set of people for the translation process. In this post, we talk more about a specific type of testing that is required to determine whether the software is ready for translation.
In previous posts, we have talked about how the software localization process depends on ensuring that all the strings in the code are tagged in a way that they can be extracted and then sent for translation. However, since this tagging of the strings needs to be done by the development team as and when these strings are added, it is very much possible that some mistakes could be done during the process of adding the relevant tag information to the strings; and that these mistakes could actually end up being found out much later in the cycle.
A testing process that could determine these problems much earlier in the cycle is called 'mocked testing', a process that ensures that the software is checked periodically to see whether there are strings that are not properly tagged. What happens is that the software is validated in the various languages and the dialogues inspected to see whether the strings are showing up properly, or not. Such a process helps in ensuring that any mistakes that are made during the tagging of the strings is caught early; else it is very much possible that when the actual testing happens much later in the cycle, the problem is caught then and it becomes more expensive to make the fix.
However, this effort needs to be properly planned, since it is something that requires effort from the internationalization team as well as the testing team.

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