What is Localization Testing? Meet Gianmarco, One of Our Testers.
There’s no doubt that localization is crucial to ensure the success of products or software in new global markets. An important part of that workflow is testing, crucial in providing optimum customer experience.
To ensure the product functions the same no matter the locale, language, or culture, linguistic and functional testing must be carried out to guarantee each part of the product or software is consistent with the original source and is locally and culturally relevant.
Gianmarco Saretto is a Technology Linguistic Tester at Welocalize. Based in New York City, Gianmarco analyzes Italian products and software and performs the necessary testing to verify its linguistic and functional accuracy.
We spoke to Gianmarco to find out more about his role as a tester…
How did you get started in testing? What is your role at Welocalize?
I’m a Tech Linguistic Tester for Italian. I started working for Welocalize five months ago, after finishing my PhD. As a recent graduate, I was looking for positions that would allow me to make the best of my linguistic and technical skills. Testing was a perfect fit. This job asks you to pay great attention to language, to quickly understand how and why a piece of text or software works, and to effectively communicate how its translation could be improved.
“If you love languages (and if you enjoy being a bit nitpicky about them!), there’s a lot of fun to be had here.”
What exactly is testing?
Testing is like a dress rehearsal for software. Before releasing a new product or functionality into global markets, a company has the option of trying it out for a selected group of skilled and curious testers. These testers aim to discover any issues that an end user might encounter, offering potential solutions whenever possible.
At Welocalize, the focus is on linguistic testing, usability testing, as well as display of text. Not only do we assess whether the product works as expected, but we also ask questions, like: “Will this sentence sound natural to users in my locale? Will they be able to recognize this reference, or follow this set of instructions? Is this translation as effective and as engrossing as the source?”“Testing is like a dress rehearsal for software. #Testing aims to discover any issues that an end user might encounter, offering potential solutions whenever possible, before it is released in #global markets.” Click To Tweet
Can you describe a typical day as a tester?
One of the best things about this job is that there truly is no such thing as a “typical” day. One day I’ll be reviewing the language used to describe the upcoming functionality of a popular streaming app, and the next day I’ll be going through the many settings of a vast back-end framework, or examining the slogans and videos used to advertise the newest electronic device developed by a major tech company. For all these projects, the core approach remains the same: understanding what the client needs, researching the product and its context, and assessing every detail of the experience with the utmost care.
Why do you think global brands need testing services?
Companies rely on testing because it gives them the fresh pair of eyes they need to fix and fine-tune the products and services they offer. The kind of linguistic testing that we do at Welocalize is particularly crucial because localization can be a very tricky process. Every translated string has the potential of introducing new issues, often in ways that are quite hard to predict.
“I recently discovered a bug that prevented a whole section of a website from loading, and all because of a single apostrophe used in the Italian version of the header!”
Besides, translation itself works better when several people collaborate on it. So, translators use our comments and suggestions to ensure that the localized versions are not only free from mistakes, but also as clear and as idiomatic as possible.
Find out more about the importance of testing in global user experience here.
What can be the most challenging factors when it comes to testing?
Working under strict deadlines and maintaining a detail-oriented eye are common challenges when it comes to testing. Yet, I feel that communicating our findings effectively is one of the most challenging aspects of what we do. Linguistic issues can be surprisingly hard to pinpoint, and we must be able to explain them clearly and concisely.
What language technology do you use to help you for testing?
I’m very interested in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine translation (MT), but ironically a lot of my job consists precisely in spotting those nuances and flaws that a computer might have a hard time detecting. I feel that, even though AI and MT are constantly improving, one will always need to rely on the human ear of a native speaker for quality assurance and fine-tuning.
Do you have any advice for global brands considering testing for their content?
Be clear about your priorities, promptly communicate any changes or concerns, and make sure that the current build of your product is ready for the kind of testing that you require.
Other than that, just go for it! Your international customers will certainly thank you.
For more information on Welocalize Testing services, connect with us here.