SDL has provided product testing for more than 20 years for a wide variety of company types – IT, gaming, eCommerce and life sciences to name a few. During this time, we’ve learned many reasons why testing for global markets is important, such as this story about a quality-minded regulated-industry customer:
After only one day of testing, SDL realized an urgent call with the customer was needed. Linguistic testers were finding many more defects in the customer’s translated product than expected, especially mistranslations and concatenations.
Concatenations were a specific challenge for this customer. In one case, the first string said “To access the software”, the next said “click here” and both were pulled together to form a full sentence: “To access the software click here”. While this coding practice may work well for English, it often causes serious issues in other languages where word order is different than English.
When SDL shared their findings with the customer’s offshore development team, they responded that the translations were correct. However, SDL knew these issues weren’t evident without reviewing the translations in the product itself. In-context preview is important to documentation and many products come standard with this feature, but for product experience - kiosks, devices, websites and user interfaces, for example - testing is the only way you will verify the translations are correct.
SDL’s team determined that testing and fixing the issues would require more time and budget than planned. Rather than suspending the project, the customer instructed SDL to continue work. The customer also decided to initiate a complete software rework to follow SDL Product Testing best practices for software internationalization.
- Internationalization testing is performed before translation starts to identify potential issues, such as incorrect date, phone number and address formats, paper size and hardcoded strings. Mock translations with expanded lengths can point UI designers to areas where text must adhere to specific character counts.
- Linguistic testing takes place after translation and focuses on accuracy, consistency and context. While many customers - like the one in our example - streamline the process and have SDL perform both translation and testing, SDL Product Testing is neutral and often tests products translated by other companies, providing unbiased feedback and an additional quality check.
- Functional testing can be done before or at the same time as linguistic testing to ensure the product works as expected. Possessing the training, skills and equipment, SDL can also perform English functional testing to support our customers’ busy internal QA teams.