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Smartling for Translators

Smartling is an online, browser-based translation tool with the possibility to see your translation in context as you work.

Logging in

The best browsers to use Smartling are Google Chrome (first choice), Mozilla Firefox or Safari. When possible, do not use Internet Explorer or Edge, as Smartling is not well supported in that environment.

You can log in to Smartling at https://dashboard.smartling.com/users/login.htm or by clicking the URL in your Smartling notification. Use the logins your PM has instructed, and note that these might differ from one project to the next. 

Opening a project for translation

Once you've logged in, you'll be on the Smartling Projects Dashboard page:

You can see how many strings are available next to Available for work under each project. Hover over the project you're translating, and click View Project.

You are sent to the Translator Dashboard, where you can see the available jobs and a word count report. To start translating, click on the job title (circled below). Note: If you are to translate all the content in the project, not just the individual job, click on the number of words in the Available for Work box instead. If in doubt, check project instructions or ask your PM.

To move between projects and jobs, you can either go back to the main project dashboard by clicking on the Smartling logo on the top left, or by selecting another project directly from the Projects dropdown menu.


Once you have clicked through to the job assigned to you, you are in the In Progress view. From here you'll need to open up the actual CAT tool.

Translators: Click Add Translation to start translating from the segment in question. Alternatively, hover over a string and select Add Translation. A new tab opens up, containing the actual translation interface.


Translating a segment

Translating in Smartling resembles most other common CAT tools, as does the layout of the interface. Select a cell by clicking on it, and type in your translation. You can choose to confirm (save) strings to the TM as you go along, or just save a draft. Smartling will start to complain if you have too many unconfirmed translations though. Saving segments as you go along also ensures you get all TM internal hits while translating.

You can see the status of a segment in the right-hand column. In the image below, 1 is a draft translation that is not saved to the TM, 2 is a confirmed translation, and 3 is a translation with something the QA has picked up. Depending on the severity of the QA error, you will need to fix a faulty segment before you can save it.

Note that one string can sometimes include several segments. The interface alternates between a white and a grey background for different strings – if you have two white segments in a row, they are in the same string. This is also apparent in the progress column – there will be no line between the segments, and only one check will appear when the string is confirmed. The green bar on the left that shows the active string will also stretch to cover all applicable segments. In strings like these, the possible character limit applies for all the segments combined.

Checking the Additional Details pane

While you're translating, keep an eye on the Additional Details pane on the right. This contains important string instructions, a character counter and any possible character limitations, and links to any glossaries and style guides available for the project.

Tags, insertables, and placeholders

Tags are signified by grey highlighting. Smartling inserts formatting tags as pairs (opening and closing tag) to preserve code. You can insert these as you go along, or you can highlight the bit of the target that should go between the tags and then enter them. Using the Insert Next Tag shortcut will toggle through the available tags. You can also insert all tags and add your translation between them.

You can choose to view short tags (numbers only) or long tags (full tag). This can be done from Settings > Preferences and switching Show tag values on.

You can also choose to switch the tag view on a string level by using this button:

Below you can see an example of long and short tags in the same string:


An insertable is a formatting marker such as a non-breaking space (NBSP) or line break (BR). You can click on the insertable in the source to populate it in the target segment, or click on the desired insertable on the editor toolbar. Alternatively, you can simply start typing and the tool will provide a suggestion (eg. n > nbsp). Click enter to add the suggestion to the target.

In the Smartling dashboard, placeholders are used to mark parts of a string that do not need to be translated. The content contained within the placeholder will usually be populated dynamically in the application. In Smartling, placeholders are always represented by a number or a set of characters highlighted in grey and/or contained within curly brackets. You can see an example of this below.

On occasion you might see a string that requires a translation in both singular and plural forms. There will be an orange information bar detailing which form is required for the selected segment:

Using concordance

You can do a concordance search by highlighting the word or phrase you want to look for and clicking Search TM at the top of the translator editor. Alternatively, you can highlight the word you want to search for and use the shortcut CTRL+ALT+T. 

Checking and using TM/TB/MT matches

Below the Additional Details pane, you can see the hits from the TM (green for high fuzzy, yellow for low fuzzy), TB (grey), and MT (purple). Click on a segment to insert it into the target, or use a keyboard shortcut. For fuzzy matches, SL will show how the new source is different from the one in the TM hit. The machine translated suggestion at the bottom of the list is from Google Translate and should be used with extreme caution.

Terms included in the glossary are also shown in the source segment with a dotted line below. Hover over the word to see the translation, or whether it should not be translated. 

Note: Check the project instructions for any notes about the glossary – some clients do not want translators to edit the glossary so always make sure you follow project-specific instructions.

Words that the client wants added to the glossary, but that haven't been translated yet, are shown with a red line. Hover over and click Add Definition to add the translation and save to the glossary. You can also define what type of word the glossary entry is (noun, verb, etc.) and add a comment if necessary.

Keyboard shortcuts and editing them

You have the option to view and customize keyboard shortcuts in Settings > Keyboard Preferences. Please only change the shortcuts if you are certain that no-one else is using the same translator profile (i.e. you are only able to see content in Smartling that was assigned to you and nothing else).

Source and target preview

In the Context view above the translation segments, you can see the original segment in context (if this has been made available) by the client. As you insert your translation into the blank translation field next to the double arrow, your translation will show up in the top window as well. You can choose whether the view shows the source or the target language from the Context Language dropdown menu.

If there is no context, you can hide this view by clicking on the Collapse Context double arrow button in its bottom right corner.

Keeping track of your progress

You can track your progress from the progress bar at the bottom of the page. It will show how many segments you have confirmed. Note that Smartling only fits 100 strings on to one page – after that you’ll need to move to page 2, etc. 

Saving a project

Smartling saves your progress automatically, so there is no specific Save function for a job or a project. However, it's best that you keep confirming (saving) each segment into the TM as you go along.

Running spellcheck and QA

Smartling has an in-built spellcheck function and a QA tool. When you click on Run QA in the top left corner, you get a QA report that looks like this:

You can select each category to see a more detailed description of the errors. Clicking on an error will take you to the string it appears in.

If there are no errors, you’ll just get a message saying 'No QA Errors'.

Delivering a job

Once you have finished your translation and ran the QA, submit the strings to revision by opening the Save Translations dropdown menu in the top right corner and selecting Submit Translations. A pop-up window opens where you can determine if you would like to submit all translations, or just the ones you’ve saved.

Note: Use caution in submitting the content as you can’t edit the translation again once it has been sent to the reviser. You can still see the strings after submitting though. The submitted strings appear with a lock symbol in the progress column.

You can also submit strings from the In Progress view. Click Submit to Next Step to send the particular string to revision, or Submit Group to send all strings in that group to revision. You can also select individual strings for submitting by ticking them and then selecting Actions > Submit to Next Step. NB! Remember to refresh the In Progress view before doing this.

Finally, log out by clicking the little arrow by the account name in the top right hand corner and clicking Logout: 

Logging, checking, and closing issues

Query management for all linguistic issues is done via Smartling by adding an issue. These are added and stored on a string level, and they are visible to all language teams working on a project. Responses to issues raised in Smartling appear directly in Smartling, and as an automated email notification. Please bear in mind that in some cases the issues might go directly to the end client, so be careful with the way they any queries are worded.

To add an issue for a string:

  1. On the right, in the Issues tab on the translation page, click Open New Issue.

  2. Select a relevant type of issue from the drop-down menu.
  3. Type a comment.
  4. Click Open this issue

Note: You can also add an issue from the In Progress view: open the drop-down menu next to Add Translation and select Issues, or just hover over the string and select Add an issue.

To view an issue and see any replies, click on the issue title in the Issue tab.

To close an issue, select it and click either Comment and close or Close. Please do NOT close any issues that are raised by other teams. Please consult your project instructions to see whether you should submit strings with (relevant) unanswered issues or not.

Revision and finalisation

Click the following URL (or the URL in your Smartling notification) and enter your Smartling username and password: https://dashboard.smartling.com.

The Dashboard, In Progress view and translation interface for revision are the same as for translation.

While you technically can revise in the In Progress view, it is strongly advised to open up the actual translator interface. This way you will see the possible string instructions and TB hits, among other things. Open up the translator interface by hovering over a string and selecting Edit translation.


You don’t necessarily have to confirm strings unless you make changes, but doing so might help you keep a track of your progress.

The reviser will need to finalise as well as there is no easy way to show the changes made. When you have revised all strings, open the Submit Translations dropdown menu and select Submit Translations. This delivers the content to the client.

You can also submit strings to the client from the In Progress view. Click Submit to Next Step to submit particular strings, or click Submit Group to submit all strings in that group. You can also select individual strings for submitting by ticking them and then selecting Actions > Submit to Next Step. NB! Remember to refresh the In Progress view before doing this.

NOTE I: Do not submit the content before you have finished all segments as you can’t retrieve the translation again once it has been delivered to the client.

NOTE II: Depending on the end-client, you may be instructed not to submit strings with unanswered Issues before the client replies. As client instructions vary, please refer to your project instructions.

String Changes Report

The String Changes Report function in Smartling allows translators to review changes made to strings in Smartling (for example, to see if changes were made during revision). This is accessed by going to Reports and then String Changes:

The Report Filter sidebar should be filled out with the relevant information (project, job name, language, date) to narrow down the results. Clicking Run Report will then produce a report detailing the changes made in each workflow step. The report can either be reviewed in-browser, or use the Download CSV option at the top of the report to save a copy for your records.


Smartling work is paid according to the final leveraged wordcount. This wordcount is the running analysis of matches as the translator gets them from the TM when a segment is translated, so as the TM continues to grow, the leverage changes, and we only know the final analysis results when the project has been completed, at which point a final PO for the work will be issued.

If you want to see the initial breakdown of the current content to help you plan your work, go to Estimates and Create Estimate. This analysis will show the current analysis of the content against the TM, but it does not show internal homogeneity matches used for final leveraging and payment. It also does not show repetitions. Your PM will run a post-analysis on the translation and send you a final PO after the project has been finalised.