How a Software Translator Contributes to Localization

When it comes to localization, can algorithms ever hope to replace human intuition? According to, there’s little chance: human translators always have the edge when it comes to culture-specific content and colloquialisms. But this doesn’t rule out the crucial role of a software translator. It provides key three benefits which we’d like to talk about in this post.

Helps You Centralize and Save

Smartling’s localization software platform is cloud-based, providing an on-demand repository for all of your content. By centralizing all of your documents, web pages, and other information, you can automate the

translation process. The translation memory tool, for example, intelligently suggests appropriate word usage and phrasing based on already-translated content you have stored, so you don’t have to pay for unnecessary re-translations. This saves you a ton of money and time and helps in faster product launches in global markets.

But there’s more. The platform also lets you centralize all the files, guidelines, and termbases required for translators to work efficiently. It gives them instant access to their existing projects and previous content and allows them to “compare notes”. This way, you can realize the highest-quality translation possible without having to spend time and money shuttling documents back and forth or piecing together translations from multiple sources—creating the potential for document overlap. Centalized translation tools, courtesy of a robust software translator, shortens the time from when a project starts to becoming effectively localized content.

Provides the API Option

One of the best ways to save time on a localization project is with application programming interfaces (API) for translation. These come in multiple types and offer varying levels of control. For example, popular machine translating tools come with popular and widely used APIs, but they simply aren’t robust enough to handle large localization projects. Translation agency and language-specifc APIs are more useful, but present the problem of scale: if you reach capacity in an agency’s system or technical proficiency, there’s no room to grow—and most agency APIs demand that you hand over control of translation databases, which can increase future costs if you part ways. Language-specific APIs, meanwhile, are great for simple tasks in a single language but don’t have the ability to expand or adapt to new challenges. In addition, most are not enterprise-grade and don’t offer significant value over the long term.

To maximize translation security, availability, and room for future development, consider a translation platform API that includes these key elements:

  • REST-like scale properties backed by HTTPS security and JSON structure
  • Simple upload/download interface
  • Real-time status reporting and integration with machine translation tools
  • Software development kits (SDKs) that allow you to easily customize your solution

Suitable for Different Use Cases

What needs to be translated in your next localization project? For many companies the easy answer is “web content,” but this can take many forms over the course of a full-on marketing implementation. Although website pages and other content may top the list, it’s also important to consider the other ways consumers interact with your brand—through mobile devices, for instance. Mobile app translation is now just as critical as website content, especially in developing markets, which are poised to outperform North America in terms of mobile use and sales.

Document translation may also be necessary, because it includes everything from press releases to legal documents and marketing brochures. That’s why you need a solution that can work on different platforms, pull content for translation, and then easily push it to the appropriate endpoint.


About Doug Bonderud

Doug Bonderud is a freelance technology writer with a passion for telling great stories about unique brands. For the past five years, he's covered everything from cloud computing to home automation and IT security. He speaks some French, is fluent in Ancient Greek and a master of Canadian English — and yes, colour needs a 'u'.