20 Days Of Web Testing > Change the locale


The locale of the browser can play a large part in the rendering of the product and the way that it functions.

It’s a simple test idea that could highlight potential multi-language issues, especially if your site actively supports multiple languages.



The process of changing your browser locale is different in each browser but a quick web search should give you the information you need.


For example, in Firefox on MAC:

Firefox > Preferences > Content > Languages


This will give you a dialogue where you can change the language locale of the browser.

Your browser locale (language) settings will steer your browser to look for “locale specific” content in the sites it loads.

So if your site is intended to be used in English and French markets and will change the language of the landing page(s) depending on the browser locale detected, then try removing all locales and see what happens.

How about adding en-us instead of en-gb – does it still render in English?

You can quickly start to build up a number of tests and further areas to explore.


Useful Hint(s)

Try using a Browser Extension to make changing locale easier.

The locale of the browser and the language of the Operating System are two different things.


Useful Links

Quick Locale switching extension – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/quick-locale-switcher/

Changing Windows language – http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms144258.aspx

Changing MAC Language – http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2490#l6



If you want to talk Testing – catch me later this year at EuroSTAR conference.


2 thoughts to “20 Days Of Web Testing > Change the locale”

  1. This is an excellent point. I am often surprised to see that so little are mentioned about i18n and l10n, especialy nowadays with the multinational exposure of web sites and applications. So it is refreshing to see an article that touches on this subject.
    If i may expand on some test cases…just as important as languages are the cutural conventions such as date formats, number, etc. Is 09/07/12 “September 7th, 2012”? “9th of July, 2012”? “2009, July 12th”? etc?
    Also some web apps allow language/locale customization from the user preferences of the application itself. May be a good idea to test whether tis setting will override the browser settings (according to the design of the application) .
    …and many many more

    1. Hi – great points about cultural conventions. It is often something that people really miss when testing.

      Thanks for the ideas and the comments.


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