WHAT IS LINGUISTIC TESTING, AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?

  • Feb 11, 2019

What is linguistic testing, and why is it so important?

by Kirsty Byrne Condon

 

There are many elements to the translation process, beyond simply translating the source text. Depending on the nature, a project may require a number of additional processes such as desktop editing, transcreation or linguistic testing. These processes require expert knowledge and are completed alongside the traditional translation process.

 

What is linguistic testing?

Linguistic testing is an essential step in localization. Essentially, linguistic testing is a quality assurance step which tests the context of your programme to ensure it will still be culturally relevant when launched in a new market. Primarily used in software, gaming and application development, it is important to test your product on all devices, systems and in all necessary languages. This ensures that your release doesn’t encounter any system issues and you don’t face client dissatisfaction.

 

How does it work?

Unlike other similar processes, linguistic testing must take place within the finished project; be it an application or a website. Linguistic testing looks for typical translation errors such as untranslated text, grammar issues and mistranslations; however, it also addresses issues of localisation such as incorrect or insensitive cultural references, formatting, and conversions in the user interface (UI). As a result, this is a highly specialised area that requires a high level of expertise in translation, localisation and technology.

 

How is this different to software testing?

Software testing is a process to identify errors, gaps or missing requirements from the original projected output. In comparing the actual product to the projected product, software testing ensures that the software is fault free and ready for the market from a behind-the-scenes perspective. Linguistic testing, in comparison, checks the actual appearance of the text in a product and ensures it’s both correct and culturally appropriate. Both of these steps are essential to ensure the success of an application, game, website or product.

 

Why is linguistic testing so important?

When launching a project, testing of all kinds is an essential step. Translation errors in the user interface or on a web page can have repercussions past minor inconvenience, particularly in games and applications as a poorly translated product can have a hugely negative impact on sales and brand reputation. Furthermore, if a product is launched with poorly localised content, you will not only lose customers but also, you will have to inject more time and resources into the project. This can often lead to the application being down for a period of time, which also impacts sales and profits.

 

Linguistic testing is the final step in getting your product ready to release. Once the functionality and language quality of your translated product is completed, you can rest assured that your product will be perfectly localised for all target markets.

 

For more on our linguistic testing services, contact us at info@creative-words.com

 

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Kirsty Byrne Condon - Account Manager and world traveller. Usually found working from airports and drinking too much coffee. Passionate about writing, dogs and good wine. "Creativity is intelligence having fun." - Albert Einstein 

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