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I work in a multilingual region, like many of us. My clients' websites are multilingual (often, there's a main language and sub-languages). When I perform a tree test on their structure, is it enough to test on main language or should I test for every language, since translation and cultural habits might come into play?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You need to test every language:

  1. Translation could be done incorrectly - missing items, typos, bad correspondence between original term and translation within common context.
  2. Cultural habits might come into play, as you mentioned.
  3. Trees might be different for each language.
  4. Translation may cause visual defects.

In general, multilingual website should be considered as many localized websites and common test procedure should apply for each of them.

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Thx! that's what I thought. Are you quoting a source or is that out of personal experience? – Benoît Pointet Feb 4 '13 at 12:11
And what about "translations might cause visual defects": do you have concrete example? – Benoît Pointet Feb 4 '13 at 12:12
This is my personal experience. Of course it doesn't cover all cases but I hope it corresponds to your context. As for visual defect - the most simple example is when your tree area has fixed width and one of translated node names exceeds this width or cause any kind of shifts, scrolls, etc. to appear. – Serg Feb 4 '13 at 12:40
More technical issues include culture-specific date/time/number/currency formatting, obscure case sensitivity issues (e.g., the Turkey Test), right-to-left vs left-to-right issues, encoding issues. – Brian Feb 4 '13 at 18:33

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