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By internationalization testing I intend testing application with one or more additional languages and one or more additional regional settings (locale).

We expect a number of risks with internalization, and want to mitigate them with proper test cases:

  • layout may be a disaster with longer labels
  • some characters (German “ö”, Arabic “ݔ” or Spanish “ĕ” ) may display incorrectly
  • application may crash with a different language (it will not happen with German language, but what about Japanese ?)
  • application may incorrectly recognize default locale/regional settings/language based on OS/browser settings
  • applications may mix custom settings with default settings
  • application may parse user input incorrectly, Usually the app stores user input in some normalized form, so it should parse 1000.5 and 1000,5 differently, depending on the locale
  • application may not distinguish regional settings from language settings (“A French person working with German locale in the Russian office.”)

What other problems with internalization would you expect from Web app?

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This is a big subject. It can help to find someone who specializes in I18N testing, at least for your first internationalized release release. –  user246 Dec 17 '12 at 15:15
    
I see it depends what in the app gets internationalized, [Wikipedia].(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internationalization_and_localization) gives quite a broad topic on that. Still I would like to learn about some experiences of other here. –  dzieciou Dec 17 '12 at 15:24
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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You may also want to check

  • Locale appropriateness of colors, icons, etc
  • Paper size issues
  • Sort order issues
  • Tax issues
  • Holiday issues
  • Time Zone issues
  • etc, etc.

These may help:

All Things Quality: Pseudo-Translation of Strings as an Aid to Internationalization Testing

All Things Quality: Internationalization and Localization

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+1 and add currency date, and time formats. –  Alan Dec 17 '12 at 16:26
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+1. Add to this list Right to Left langauges/formatting (if you will support any) and ensuring everything that should be localized is localizable. I'm sure the second point is part of the first link Joe gave. –  Sam Woods Dec 17 '12 at 17:44
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Be sure to know any monetary laws for applicable countries. We made the mobile PayPal app at my old shop, and the sheer amount of business rules from country to country regarding sending/receiving/transferring funds/different currencies was maddening.

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I heard similar story about internal system we use in our company for reporting time-off. While in US basically the holiday is a holiday, in my country there are at least 6 types of holidays and must be counted and processed differently. –  dzieciou Dec 17 '12 at 17:47
    
exactly! that's always something to keep in mind with L10N products –  squeemish Dec 17 '12 at 18:35
    
Yes. As software professionals, we tend to think about supporting business in other locales as a language issue, but of course there may be locale-specific business issues that go above and beyond that. –  user246 Dec 17 '12 at 18:52
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First of all, try and get an agreement on the list of locales being tested. For example, which are the most important to the business, which are minor ones, and which are out of scope. Impress on the business how adding a locale at a later stage will greatly impact schedules, resources, etc.

When considering specific test cases, I would definitely include the following:

  1. For websites use an IP range from one locale using FoxyProxy and set your computer to another - this is especially important for sites where money exchanges hands such as betting websites
  2. Check regions with the same language and different rules such as European French and Canadian French - there are specific rules and words in Canadian French which aren't applied in European French for example. If your product is being released into a regulated market this comes into play
  3. If possible, use a currency from one locale whilst purchasing in another - sometimes the translation strings don't contain the correct characters to cover a foreign currency symbol
  4. Error messages - you mentioned this in your original post, but this should be high on the list of tests. You will find it difficult to receive feedback from a user if they cannot read the error
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