Why you need a localization tester tool

I’ve worked with four different translation agencies in different projects. In each case, we have occasionally received some faulty translations, where for example placeholders were missing or incorrectly formatted. This has occurred even when the translator has used a translation platform which warns about missing translation placeholders.

As with other quality aspects, you are ultimately responsible, and automation is key to quality.

Therefore in each project I’ve worked on I’ve built a tool that performs basic checks on the translation files. Checks include:

  • The file format is correct
  • All translation files contain exactly the same keys and no duplicate keys
  • Same placeholders and HTML tags are present in the translations as the master (make sure that {foo}} also causes an error)
  • Correct pluralization forms are included per language (if complex pluralization is used)
  • No master or translation texts contain “TODO” or “FIXME”

The last point allows placing temporary localization keys in the master or translation files without worrying that they’re accidentally left in.

Our CI is configured to run the localization tests only in the master branch, not development branches. This allows development to be done while texts and translations are not yet complete, but localization files need to be correct before deployment.

This works particularly well together with a continuous localization system.


This entry was posted in Continuous integration, Localization, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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