[Translators-l] testing localization

Amir E. Aharoni amir.aharoni at mail.huji.ac.il
Sat Jan 8 22:19:09 UTC 2011

This is not a request for translation, but a request for comment from
experienced localizers.

Is there anybody here who is experienced with testing software
localization or writing test suites and test plans for testing
software localization?

For Wikimedia projects we mostly translate things in Meta or in
translatewiki.net. In Meta these are usually simple and short tasks
with pretty clear context. In translatewiki.net, however, the tasks
tend to be larger and more complicated and it often happens that we
see only a short string out of context and we aren't sure how to
translate it. Sometimes we try to read the documentation or the source
code or ask a developer and sometimes we just guess.

It also happens that the translated strings include complicated
GRAMMAR, GENDER or PLURAL clauses, the results of which cannot be
easily seen in translatewiki.net (but correct me if i'm wrong).
FlaggedRevs is an example of a particularly hard-to-translate
extension, but it happens in many other features.

Because of these reasons the localization should be properly tested
before being deployed to the site. But to test it, the translator
needs to be familiar with all of the features and the use cases of the
software feature that he's translating.

So, is anybody here familiar with proper strategies for testing the
localization of software?

Thanks in advance for any ideas and for sharing your knowledge and experience.

Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
"We're living in pieces,
 I want to live in peace." - T. Moore

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