Smartling vs. MemoQ

To go global, getting localization right is a must. But for many, the localization process is an unfamiliar one — or at least calls on a skill set not typically within their wheelhouse. Even those familiar with the process can easily get overwhelmed, especially when on a tight deadline or when dealing with multiple languages.

Fortunately, translation management systems (TMSs) can help. These software solutions can store translated content, automate routine tasks, and provide a means to communicate efficiently with all involved.

However, it's not easy to pick the right TMS for your business. If you're trying to decide between Smartling and memoQ or are looking for an alternative, this page will help you understand which solution is best.

What Is Smartling?

Smartling combines advanced technology with expert language services to help businesses — including DoorDash, Shopify, InterContinental Hotels Group, British Airways, and WeWork — effortlessly expand into new markets and connect with customers worldwide.

Our cloud-based translation management system offers a host of customizable features designed to centralize control, facilitate collaboration, increase efficiency, and improve translation quality. And our expert language services connect businesses with seasoned translators who have the extensive industry knowledge and can help provide native brand experiences for global audiences.

What Is memoQ?

memoQ offers different software solutions for translators, LSPs, and enterprises. Its offerings facilitate collaboration and help businesses keep their translated content organized. In addition, given the company's origins as a solution by and for translators, the company has many tools that make it easier for translators to work efficiently. Even so, many companies may find themselves lacking the visibility, control, and easy-to-use tools they need to take their translations to the next level, especially as their localization program evolves.

Smartling vs. memoQ vs. Legacy Tools

The localization process tends to be more complicated than it needs to be, especially when businesses and LSPs use legacy tools to prepare and send files for translation.

Project managers spend hours copying strings into spreadsheets or text files, which is extremely manual and highly prone to human error. They then email these files to the translators, who are often required to work without context. These translators may not have access to glossaries, style guides, or translation memories. They also typically have little to no contact with the clients themselves.

TMSs like memoQ and Smartling were designed to automate manual tasks and facilitate the centralization of all translated material for easy storage and reuse. Translators can work directly within a dedicated CAT tool with QA checks to mitigate the risk of error. And in-platform communication replaces long email chains, thereby helping everyone stay on the same page throughout.

But not all TMSs are the same. There are many notable differences between Smartling and memoQ (and other providers) when it comes to delivering an efficient, seamless experience. For example:

  • With memoQ: They provide a cloud-based TMS, but it is geared toward smaller teams, who can subscribe to additional licenses for their translators. The enterprise-level solution is server-based; customers can use memoQ’s servers or opt for an on-premise solution. A Windows OS may be required, and the learning curve is steep.

  • With Smartling: Customers use a cloud-based TMS that is accessible on any device or operating system. There are no licenses to keep track of; users are added or deleted with a click directly in the platform. The intuitive UI makes quick work of any learning curve, and onboarding is a breeze. Often, companies are up and running in days.

  • With memoQ: memoQ provides language software solutions only. Users will need to source, vet, manage, and evaluate their own translation teams.

  • With Smartling: Customers can engage their own translation teams if they choose, but Smartling is also a full-service LSP. Customers can lean on expert project managers who provide white-glove support throughout. These project managers thoughtfully handpick which translators and subject matter experts work on each translation project, so customers can feel confident their translations are in good hands.

Users Weigh In: Smartling’s TMS Is Ranked #1

It is much easier to get localization right the first time around when you choose a TMS with a proven track record. G2 users have consistently ranked Smartling’s TMS number one. In particular, users love our feature-rich platform, the variety of connectors, and the customizability, all of which make the translation process seamless. They also regularly call out our stellar customer service.

"I've used other translation CMS in the past and never had difficulties learning the ins and outs of Smartling since the interface is very intuitive. I also like how the high-level contents are organised, which makes things easy to find.” — Raymond T.

The Typical Cost of a TMS: memoQ vs. Smartling

Typically, pricing for cloud-based translation management systems follows a subscription model. On-premise solutions can be subscription-based as well, but they often follow the traditional pricing model, where customers pay for the software license upfront.

The translation work is considered a separate service. Most companies and linguists charge by the word, and the rate will depend on the language pair. Businesses may also need to pay minimum word fees.

memoQ offers a few software plans, such as those geared toward translators or project managers. They also have an enterprise solution. Businesses can choose from three licensing options: license management, a perpetual license, or a subscription model.

Smartling, like memoQ, offers different ways to engage with the TMS, although our offering is more straightforward. We have one platform and two plans. Our Growth plan offers businesses a full-featured platform equipped with everything needed to produce high-quality work on a deadline. Then, our Enterprise plan unlocks a few other advanced features that businesses will find valuable as their localization program matures. There are no licenses to juggle or keep track of, and you can have as many people as you need working within the platform at no extra charge to you or them.

Further, we give businesses the option of bundling software costs with language services, which results in significant savings.

Finally, we offer three ways to buy our services:

  • Pay As You Go: New to translation? We'll help you get started quickly with usage based pricing
  • Volume-Based Discounts: For larger localization projects, you can receive discounts as your usage grows
  • Committed Use: Commit to a certain level of usage based on project scope and receive deeper discounts

What Differentiates Smartling from memoQ?

memoQ is a localization management platform that automates cumbersome localization tasks. It offers project managers and translators a better experience when compared with legacy translation tools. Even so, memoQ was developed initially as a translation tool created by and for other translators. Although the company has expanded its offerings, many companies might find it challenging to navigate and not fully optimized for their needs.

Smartling, on the other hand, was designed with both translators and customer-side project managers in mind. Users can leverage a robust, end-to-end solution — with an easy-to-use UI — that provides visibility into the translation process and boasts a suite of tools that enable translators and project managers to work together seamlessly to produce high-quality translations.

Among other benefits, Smartling's industry-leading platform allows you to:

  • Leverage the expertise of our project managers from the start of a project to completion and beyond. Tap into our network of fully vetted, professional linguists.
  • Bundle software and language services together to get steep discounts and simplify the billing process — you receive just a single monthly bill.
  • Diversify your translation needs by leveraging a variety of integrations while keeping your brand assets and content organized.

What To Consider When Choosing a TMS: A Spotlight on Security

The switch to cloud-based translation tools is relatively recent. There is still a tendency to view cloud solutions as less secure when compared to on-premise solutions.

That may have been the case when cloud computing was first introduced. But we’ve come a long way since then. Technological advances have strengthened cloud-based security infrastructure across the board. Companies no longer have to weigh agility and ease of use against security, no matter what business problem they wish to solve.

What is true in business as a whole is also true for localization. Even companies with strict data requirements, such as those in finance and health care, can securely translate and localize their content via the cloud.

Nevertheless, not all translation partners treat data with the same level of care. When evaluating TMSs, ask about their data security policies. Also, inquire about specific compliance certifications they may hold. Smartling's enterprise-grade security infrastructure, for example, adheres to PCI, SOC 2, HIPAA, and GDPR standards. For our language services, we are also in compliance with ISO 17100 standards.

Partnering with experts and investing in the right tools is crucial when you want to connect with customers around the world. Ready to learn more about how you can supercharge your global content strategy? Download our sample translation RFP and contact us today.