Believe It or Not: 6 Smartling Questions Answered

Smartling, as we keep on suggesting, is pretty darned cool. In a world where companies can easily spend 12-18 months and loads of cash localizing a website into a single language, Smartling lets them do it in the time it takes to translate the content.

But it’s one of those things that you really have to experience to fully believe. So for those who haven’t tried it yet, here are some of the questions we’ve been asked more than once, and the answers to them:

6 Big Questions Answered

Q: Does it grab everything? You say that Smartling will pull our entire site. But what about Javascript and the rest? Can it deal with them? Do we get the full functionality?

A: It certainly can and you certainly do. Smartling will pull in absolutely everything on and behind your site on the fly, each time someone calls up a page. The only thing that will change is the content.

Q: Is it really that fast? Can we get up and running with Smartling as quickly as you’re claiming?

A: Yes, you can. GoPro just added 6 new languages in three weeks, without compromising on quality in any way. The only limiting factor is the speed at which you translate your content.

Q: Does it translate? Are you seriously claiming that Smartling will translate my site at the click of a button?

A: No, we’re not. Or at least, only if you’re willing to settle for machine translation, which some clients (Vintage Parts is an example) have done successfully for elements of their sites. But we don’t recommend it under most circumstances. In most cases, you need people for the translation.

Q: Crowdsourcing? You talk a lot about it, but has anyone really used it?

A: Absolutely! One example is Cloudflare, who wrote about it in their blog. It isn’t right for everyone, but if you have fans or a natural volunteer base, it can be an excellent way to go.

Q: What’s the big deal?

A: What Smartling offers is

  • A solution for the time and expense of developing new language sites. Until Smartling came along, most small to medium sized organizations could never have contemplated localizing their web presence in multiple languages. Now they can.
  • A customized translation management dashboard that streamlines the translation process, whether you
    1. do it yourself
    2. hire professional translators
    3. avail yourself of the crowd, or
    4. do a mixture of all the above.

Q: What about hardware costs? There has to be a catch. Presumably we need to invest in additional servers for all this, right?

A: Not at all. Smartling stores the translated content in the cloud, and delivers it on the fly each time a page is called up. All the mechanics of your site remain where they are right now.

There are no hidden extras and only two things that you’ll need to pay for (assuming you can’t use our free service): Smartling’s monthly traffic-dependent usage fee, and the cost of professional translators, if you use them.