Linguistic testing and quality assurance (QA) are essential steps that help ensure the highest quality for your translation initiative, especially software, multimedia and eLearning content. These processes ensure that your translation effort 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 translation initiatives 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, before the localized versions go live.
Why linguistic testing matters for your product
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 decide not to test?
By skipping 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:
A linguist should view the localized text in its final format to ensure the final version appropriately represents your brand’s voice and 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.
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 content. These can make your website or multimedia content 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 the source language builds of multimedia content, websites, or software, 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 an exceptional final product
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. Expert linguistic testing and QA services will ensure your 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.
Contact us today to learn more about how we combine innovative technology with a scalable team of linguists to ensure high-quality translations.