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Internationalization Testing in Software Testing

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  • Last Updated : 08 Oct, 2021
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Prerequisite: Software Testing

Software testing is an important part of software development life cycle. There are different types of software testing are performed during the development of a software product/service. It is very clear that software testing ensures that our developed software product/service is bug free and delivering the fulfilling the desired requirements. 

The most important factor is when an IT company develops a software product/service beyond any specific region then the company has to perform a test to check if the product will work at different regions of world or not as it will be used by different cultural people.

In this article, we will discuss about a testing which is used for this purpose i.e. called Internationalization testing, why it is done, and finally it’s benefits. So, let’s start exploring the topic.

Internationalization Testing :
Internationalization testing is a process of ensuring the adaptability of software to different cultures and languages around the world accordingly without any modifications in source code.  

It is also shortly known as i18n, in which 18 represents the number of characters in between I & N in the word Internationalization. Internationalization simply makes applications ready for localization.  

Localization :
Let’s take an example and understand it more clearly.

Just imagine, your native language is Hindi and you are more comfortable with it than English. And you are opening the Amazon application for buying a brand new mobile. There you select Hindi as your preferred language since you are comfortable with it the most. Then the content and user interface will be adapted to the language “Hindi”.  

After that, the functionality and the responses of the application are not going to change. The words and visual representations are customized to your language. Along with that, you will get recommendations depending on special occasions and specific festivals in your culture and region. This customization for a specific language and region is made possible with the process of localization.  

Likewise, the Amazon application now supports several languages including seven popular Indian languages. By preferring any of the languages, the entire page will be customized in just seconds based on the language selected. This process of designing an application for the localization to any given international language and region is called Internationalization.  

Now, we got an idea about what is Internationalization and its testing means.

Why is internationalization testing done?  

  • To ensure the proper encoding of characters when a language is converted to another language.
  • To check, if the search query or string is not supported with the targeted language then the software will not crash or malfunction.
  • To attract audiences globally by providing convenience on using the application in their preferred languages.
  • To make sure that the look and feel of the font and font size are rendered accordingly.

Where is i18n testing done ?  

Internationalization testing is done on several important aspects that are classified into the following two parts.  

1. Internationalization testing at the Front end :
i18n test done at the user side of the application.  

  • Content localization –
    Localization of the static contents like labels, buttons, tabs and other fixed elements in applications, and the dynamic contents like dialogue boxes, pop-ups, toolbars, etc.
  • Local/Cultural Awareness –
    Cultural awareness testing has to be done to ensure the appropriate rendering of time, date, currencies, telephone numbers, zip codes, special events and festivals on calendars used in different regions.
  • Feature-based Testing –
    Several features of an application work for certain regional users and not for others. So those features should be hidden for non-applicable users and it should be visible and functional to the users for whom they work. This is ensured by Feature-based testing.
  • File transferring and rendering –
    Property files of different languages need to be tested whether the interface of file transfer is localized as per the language being selected. Rendering means providing or displaying contents (scripts) that are appropriately displayed without misalignment or random words.

2. Internationalization testing at the Back end :
Internationalization testing at the back end requires an in-depth understanding of the database. This testing includes the support of Unicode characters in the database.  

This testing also facilitates the back end (server-side) of an application to handle different languages, currencies,  encoding, site search and form data submission.  

Benefits of internationalization testing:

  • Increased visibility and reach of target audience around the world with personalized content rendering.
  • Single source code with the international standard for all versions of the application.
  • The global release of the product (application) with lesser cost and time.
  • Improved good quality and architecture with simpler maintenance.
  • Reduced ownership cost for the various versions of the product with compliance with international standards.
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