Preparing Your Application for Internationalization: Common Bugs and How to Test for Them

Preparing Your Application for Internationalization: Common Bugs and How to Test for Them

3 July 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment QA

As your application expands to support multiple languages, it’s crucial to anticipate and address potential bugs that can arise from localization and internationalization. This guide will help you identify and test for common issues encountered when adding support for languages such as German, Spanish, French, and Italian.

Common Bugs to Expect

When localizing your application, several types of bugs may emerge. Here are the most common ones you should be aware of:

1. Currency Formats

Currency formats are locale-dependent. Ensure that your application accurately displays the correct currency symbol and format for each locale. For example, €100,00 is used in many European countries, whereas $100.00 is used in the United States.

2. Locale-Based Keyboards

Different locales can have unique keyboard layouts, which may affect user input and shortcuts. For example, a Turkish keyboard layout may cause issues if your application is not configured to handle it properly.

3. Text Expansion and Line Breaks

Languages like German tend to have longer words due to concatenation. This can affect your UI layout, causing text to overlap or extend beyond designated areas. Make sure to allow for approximately 35% more characters in your UI design.

4. Database Collation and Unicode Format

If your application uses a database, ensure that the database collation supports non-ASCII characters. Additionally, specify the Unicode format for any data exports or imports to prevent data corruption.

5. Hard-Coded Strings and Concatenated Strings

Hard-coded strings that are not translated can lead to untranslated text appearing in your application. Concatenated strings may also cause issues if the order of translated strings doesn’t make sense in the target language.

6. Context-Dependent Translation

Words often have different meanings based on context. For example, the word “key” can refer to a keyboard key, a key to unlock a door, or a musical key. Ensure that translations are contextually accurate to avoid confusion.

7. Input Field Limitations

Be mindful of input field limitations. For instance, a field designed to accept values up to 100,000 may be insufficient in countries where larger numerical values are common, such as Russia.

Best Practices for Localization Testing

To effectively test for these issues, consider the following best practices:

  • Utilize native speakers to review translations for accuracy and context.
  • Test with locale-specific keyboards and input methods.
  • Verify that all UI elements can accommodate text expansion without layout issues.
  • Ensure that your database and data handling functions support Unicode and locale-specific formats.
  • Conduct thorough testing of all input fields to ensure they can handle the required range of values for each locale.

Leveraging Repeato for Localization Testing

For a streamlined and efficient localization testing process, consider using Repeato, a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android applications. Repeato utilizes computer vision and AI to create, run, and maintain automated tests, making it particularly fast and easy to edit and execute tests. This can be incredibly beneficial for ensuring that your application performs well across different locales without the need for extensive manual testing.

Learn more about how Repeato can enhance your quality assurance process by visiting our documentation and exploring our latest updates.

For additional resources and support, please contact us here.

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