30 October, 2014
We should better start this post by explaining why companies usually skip the testing phase. To put it simple, our first reply would be simply to save money.
However, after talking to clients we have noticed that it is usually due to ignorance of the testing phase.
The testing phase is an important phase in order to consider a localization project as finished.
Testing is done both in software and websites, and briefly explained, it consists in the comparison of the source and target software/website to make sure that the layout and functionality are the same.
During the testing phase, no translation errors should appear. However, even if the text has been reviewed before compiling the software or building the website, it is during the testing phase when translators can really see the text in context, so some adjustments may still be made to the translation.
Also, when changing from one language to another, the text can expand or can collapse, and this will also affect the layout of the software/website. Clients do not always send us their string limits, so it is not until the testing phase when we can see if the translation actually fits in the space provided.
In the example below you can see typical errors that you can find in a website testing.
Target Website. We asked the web developer to enter some errors on purpose. In a web testing project, the comments in red are the ones the translator would enter in the testing bug report.
In some cases, clients decide to do the testing phase themselves. However, we advise you not to do that. Just a pair of reasons to support this statement:
- In the case of string shortening, a translator knows some kind of ‘default’ string abbreviations that can be used to shorten a string without affecting the meaning. People who are not in the Localization industry tend to shorten strings without any compassion for grammar or spelling to a level that is totally illegible for the target reader.
- Translation companies save all translations in a translation memory, which enables them to reuse the translated content to keep consistency between different versions of the same product. If the testing phase is done on the client side, the translation company will not have access to the most updated files. In the event of spelling mistakes or terminology changes, if the translation files have not been updated with such changes after the testing period, the same errors will appear in subsequent versions of the product, which will lead to extra time and costs.
Unless you have your own localization department, where you use the same translation tools as your language service provider, we advise you to leave the testing phase in their hands, so that you can receive a final translated product and make sure everything will be ready to be reused in the future.
I hope this post helped you to learn more about the testing phase. If you need further information, do not hesitate to contact us.
Localization, Localization Process, Testing, Translation Errors, Website Localization