Quality Assurance and Linguistic Testing

Why Use Linguistic Testing and Quality Assurance in Translation Projects?

Category: International Business, Translation Services

Linguistic testing and quality assurance are essential steps that help ensure the highest quality for your translation project, especially software, multimedia projects, and eLearning content. These processes ensure that your project looks its best, resonates with its local audience as effectively as possible, and is technologically perfect. They involve rigorous testing of the localized content and fine-tuning the finished product so it’s not just accurate—it’s exceptional. This human touch makes the difference, taking your translation projects to the next level so they resonate with each local audience in your brand’s unique voice.

What is linguistic testing and QA?

Linguistic testing is an essential part of making your project speak to your intended audience in your brand’s unique voice. Due to the complex nature of localizing software, applications, multimedia projects, and websites, it’s vital to make sure that all of the pieces come together perfectly so the final content runs smoothly on local operating systems (OS). During this phase, professional linguistic testers run each localized version within its local OS and on relevant browsers, which can affect how the newly adapted content is displayed. This allows the engineers and software professionals to identify, record, and correct any technical inconsistencies that may not have been apparent until observed in “real world” local conditions. Any potential performance issues can be identified and improved so that the product you release to the public performs at its best and proudly represents your brand. All of this is done within a development environment, prior to the localized versions going live.

The linguistic testing and QA process also allows a linguist to review the translation and localization in its full, big-picture context. This provides an opportunity to tighten up and perfect the final product, recording, resolving, and confirming any incidences of truncation, display issues, contextual confusion, under- or over-translation, and internationalization. While localization experts make sure translations are linguistically accurate along every step of the way when building a system, application, or website, checking the translated product in the running application ensures contextual accuracy.

What happens if you opt not to test?

If you skip the linguistic testing phase, you run the risk of releasing a localized product that contains not only text errors but also functional or display errors. Linguistic, formatting, and technical errors can interfere substantially with an end user’s experience, making quality assurance testing critical after translation and prior to release of the final product.

Some examples of typical issues found and resolved in testing are as follows:

Linguistic Issues

A linguist should view the localized text in its final format to ensure the final version appropriately represents your brand, its voice, and its style. While linguists will be able to do the bulk of the editing in earlier phases, the necessity of some changes will only become apparent when the text is in its final format. For example, a title appearing in a relatively small font size might prompt a linguist to make more powerful word choices to create the desired degree of emphasis, or an image breaking the flow from one paragraph to the next might necessitate repeating some basic information to help the reader maintain focus.

Formatting Issues

The translation process can give rise to graphics and formatting issues when viewed on local OS platforms, such as bad line or word breaks, spacing issues, and poor formatting of visual elements like tables and graphs in your website or multimedia projects. These can make your website or multimedia project difficult to read, view, or interact with. The QA process ensures that images, text, tables, forms, graphics, buttons, spacing, and text boxes both look their best and enable a user-friendly interactive experience. Elements like time and date, phone numbers, and addresses also need to be formatted for international use on websites, including form fields (such as state/province) that can accommodate international contacts.

Technical and Performance Issues

Because both aspects of a localized product are essential to your end users’ experience, quality assurance testing must include both a linguistic and a technical element. Occasionally, software glitches or inconsistencies can arise from the compilation process, even when the source text is perfectly fine. Just as with English builds of multimedia projects, websites, or software projects, localized builds should be tested prior to launch to make sure everything looks, reads, and runs the way it should. This is especially important for bi-directional scripts, which are used with languages that are written right to left—like Arabic and Hebrew.

Choose a Full-Service, Professional Translation Team

For best results, engage a translation team that offers a full range of software, application, and website translation services as well as a rigorous testing and quality assurance process. Linguistic testing and QA services will ensure your localization investment maintains its value in every market. Your translation team should ensure that your project is linguistically accurate, aesthetically appealing, and seamlessly functional while communicating your message and your brand to new audiences.

The Acclaro team combines best-in-class technology with a scalable team of linguists to ensure a final product that is the highest quality with the quickest turnaround time. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your company with all its translation and localization needs.