A convenient approach to internationalization testing is to use the technique of
pseudo-localization. This technique simulates the process of localizing
products, involving many things a localization center does when localizing a
product. To pseudo-localize a product:
Pseudo-translate message files by inserting a specific prefix and suffix
into every message. You can also modify localizable non-message resources,
such as font names and colors. Localizable non-message resources should not
Also, other files that may be localized should be modified in some way,
such as help, text, html and graphics files.
Install the pseudo-translated message files, as well as all other pseudo
translated or modified files, in the locale of your choice, at the proper
location in the product. In certain cases, such as for Java resource
bundles, you must name the files with a locale-specific suffix and install
them in the same location as other locale-specific message files.
Run the product from this locale. The messages and GUI labels should
display the prefixes and suffixes you added, and not the English default
messages. You should also see the behavior of the modified, localizable
non-messages, and other files that were modified, like help, text, html and
graphics files, will show the modified versions of these files, when run in
This approach allows you to use the product, including its menus and other GUI
objects, without needing to know another language or fully translate the message
Many of the sections that follow take this approach.