Interview Questions

What are Internationalization, Localization, Globalization, and Multilingualization Testing?

Software QA/Testing Technical FAQs

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What are Internationalization, Localization, Globalization, and Multilingualization Testing?

Internationalization and localization are a means of adapting software for non-native environments, especially other nations and cultures. Internationalization is often abbreviated as I18N (or i18n or I18n), where the number 18 refers to the number of letters omitted. "Localization" is often abbreviated l10n in the same manner. Both are sometimes collectively termed globalization (g11n). Also seen in some circles, but less commonly, are "p13n" for personalization? and "r3h" for reach, as in the reach of a website across countries and markets.
L10N should support two languages or character codes simultaneously, usually English (ASCII) and another specific one. Since each programmer has his or her own mother tongue, there are numerous L10N patches and L10N programs written to satisfy his or her own need. L10N is preparing a feature or system for use in a local market, e.g., Russia, Japan, Québec. Usually a market has a distinct language, customs and regulations. At the very least, user interface elements are translated into the local language.
I18N is also sometimes used interchangeably with G11N when speaking broadly of the economic and cultural effects of an increasingly interconnected world. In software terms, Usage of the term I18N has become rare; the term globalization (G11N) is preferred mostly because of corporate globalization where many companies and products find themselves in many countries worldwide.
G11N is a multi-step process to prepare a feature or system for use in multiple markets, or at least so that it can easily be localized. It is most commonly taken to refer to the addition of a framework for multiple language support. This implies that the application is capable of input of and displaying non-western character sets. These activities include software localization, and technical document translation result in user interfaces, on-line help systems, and documentation that are adapted to the cultural, linguistic, and technical requirements of specific international markets. This has given rise to increasing requirements for localization (L10N) of products and services.
M17N (multilingualization) model is to support many languages at the same time. For example, Mule (MULtilingual Enhancement to GNU Emacs) can handle a text file which contains multiple languages - for example, a paper on differences between Korean and Chinese whose main text is written in Finnish. GNU Emacs 20 and XEmacs now include Mule. Note that the M17N model can only be applied in character-related instances. For example, it is nonsense to display a message like 'file not found' in many languages at the same time. Unicode and UTF-8 are technologies which can be used for this model. Viewing a website in English and same in French should not have any functionality differences ideally, and no runtime errors. Check for incorrect translations, misspelled words and wrong symbols for the particular language chosen by the user. The language conversion should be consistent throughout the application. Use of shared variables can cause serious bugs, like when users select same page or content to view but choose different languages however the page is renderd in the previous user's language.

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