Smartling vs. Transifex

Localization projects are complex, with many moving parts. Even master multi-taskers can find themselves overwhelmed. And if you're new to the translation process, need to go global on a tight timeline, or are launching in several languages at once, that ups the complexity even more.

Translation management systems (TMSs) can drastically simplify the process. They help project managers by storing translated content and automating repetitive tasks, among other benefits. Ultimately, that accelerates the time to market. Plus, many TMSs also incorporate computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools, which translators rely on to produce high-quality work.

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

What Is Smartling?

Smartling is a one-stop shop for translation.

Our translation management software centralizes content storage, provides a cloud-based platform for efficient collaboration, and gives businesses access to powerful administrative tools to help them manage the localization process from start to finish. Customers can also leverage our expert language services, which provide them with access to personalized project management assistance and seasoned translators from around the globe.

Well-known companies, including, Vimeo, Yext, DAZN, and Dashlane, trust Smartling to help them produce native brand experiences and connect with customers worldwide.

What Is Transifex?

Transifex is a translation management platform that aims to streamline the translation process. It offers features geared toward the localization of mobile apps, software, and websites. But it also makes an effort to supply translators with traditional tools that facilitate their work, such as translation memories and glossaries. Features that encourage collaboration and team management are also available. However, many companies may find that the solution falls short as an end-to-end solution, especially as translation needs become more diverse.

Smartling vs. Transifex vs. Legacy Tools

Traditional media is still an invaluable channel to engage customers. But digital content has become an integral part of every business’s marketing strategy in recent years. Adapting that content for use across diverse, multilingual markets requires companies to take a digital-first approach to localization.

Legacy translation tools won’t cut it — not that they were ideal for producing high-quality translations for traditional media either. Regardless of the type of content, having developers spend hours copying strings into spreadsheets or text files before emailing those to linguists for translation is cumbersome and introduces the risk of human error. Moreover, having translators work without context increases the probability that the translations will fall flat when shown to your target audience.

Fortunately, a few companies, including Transifex and Smartling, have stepped in to offer tools that facilitate localization. Both are cloud-based TMSs that offer several features to help streamline the process, such as integrations that connect with your existing tech stack, in-context translation tools, and automated QA checks to help streamline the process.

But not all cloud-based translation management systems are the same. There are many notable differences between Smartling and Transifex (and other cloud-based providers) when it comes to delivering the efficient, seamless experience businesses need to translate their content — digital or otherwise. For example:

  • With Transifex: Users can manage some translation projects within familiar environments via integrations. There are also two different solutions for digital content — one for files and one that relies on a snippet of JavaScript to translate websites and then serve the translated pages to customers through Fastly’s CDN.

  • With Smartling: Smartling offers a wide range of connectors and integrations that allow you to bring translation seamlessly into your existing workflows. Then, our powerful and proprietary Global Delivery Network translation proxy, which boasts a 99.99% guaranteed uptime, helps you efficiently deploy dynamic, multilingual, and SEO-compatible websites with almost no IT involvement.

  • With Transifex: Workflows are configurable to a point. Users can select from predetermined options such as a typical translation step vs. a community translation step or adding one vs. two review steps.

  • With Smartling: Users can customize their workflows to have as many or as few steps as needed. Dynamic workflows also give users the option to automatically route content to specific steps based on pre-specified criteria, such as fuzzy matching score, inactivity, file URI, or website URL.

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

Localization is vital to your global growth strategy. So when choosing a TMS and translation partner, you don’t want to have to wonder if they’ll live up to their promises.

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.

“The easiest and best translation service I’ve used. ... The Smartling interface is simple, yet you can really get in there and modify options to your heart's content. The available options let you accomplish just about anything in terms of translation." — G2 User, Administrator in Information Technology and Services

The Typical Cost of a TMS: Transifex vs. Smartling

Typically, pricing for cloud-based translation management systems follows a subscription model. Often, companies have a few plans at different price points, and you can select which one best fits your needs.

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.

Transifex, for instance, offers three software subscription plans at three different price points. But the details here are key: features such as glossary management, workflows that support tags, and bulk string actions are unavailable in the most economical plan. Further, there is a cap on the number of collaborators, although the number increases as you go up the pricing ladder.

Smartling, like Transifex, offers a couple of different ways to engage with the TMS. Our Growth plan offers businesses a full-featured platform equipped with everything needed to produce high-quality work on a deadline — including customizable workflows with tag support and a sophisticated CAT tool that leverages translation memories and glossaries from the start. Our Enterprise plan unlocks a few more advanced features that businesses will find valuable as their localization program matures. Neither plan caps the number of users.

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 Transifex?

Transifex offers a cloud-based localization platform with features that help automate the translation process for mobile apps, software, and websites. It also has tools that project managers and translators will find helpful. But users with more varied, enterprise-wide translation needs may find that Transifex doesn't provide the same level of functionality and flexibility that Smartling provides.

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

  • Leverage Smartling's managed services and leave the day-to-day tasks to us. Or take the reins if you choose. With several reporting features, customizable workflows, and more, you can be as hands-on as you’d like.
  • Use previously translated material, AI-enabled machine translation, and professional translation — seamlessly.
  • Lean on expert project managers to navigate the translation process and connect you with our network of fully vetted, professional linguists.
  • Ensure that all brand assets are centrally stored and easily accessible to your linguists.

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

Cloud-based translation tools make it possible for companies to efficiently and securely collaborate with linguists and other stakeholders from all over the globe. Since all content lives in the cloud, companies have greater control over how data is used and stored.

Additionally, some TMSs, such as Smartling, facilitate in-platform communication. That means questions that arise during the translation process can be answered quickly, directly within a secure, centralized platform.

Even so, cloud services are vulnerable to hacks and breaches. It is, therefore, vital that you choose a translation partner that is committed to keeping your data safe. When evaluating TMSs, ask about the provider's data security policies. Also, inquire about any 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.