FAQ

I’ve been asked by a client to work in Smartling. Where do I start?

Great! As soon as the project is ready for kick-off, your client will invite you into Smartling so you can start translating.

How does translation memory reduce costs?

Translation memory reduces costs by allowing you to apply partial and full matches from past translations to future work. That is, repetitive content will not need to be translated again and again.

How is translation memory different from machine translation?

Translation memory is different from machine translation in that a human is always involved in looking at the translation before applying it. With machine translation, the best “match” for a given phrase or sentence is applied automatically with no human intervention. When translation memory is used, it’s a productivity tool for a human translator.

How is translation memory different from an online dictionary?

A dictionary usually offers definitions of words, or translations of words in the case of a bilingual dictionary. A translation memory does not match just one word to another, but also, one phrase or sentence to another. This ensures that the translation memory does not contain any “word by word” translations, but rather, that entire phrases and sentences are stored for repurposing.

What is translation memory?

Translation memory is a “memory bank” of your past translations. Translations are saved in a database, so that if you ever translate similar content, the translator will see the past translations, much like an “auto-complete.” This way, the translator can decide to use a prior translation or to create a new one.

How is Smartling different from other translation management systems?

Smartling is a robust, modern, and fully cloud-based solution that is completely vendor-agnostic. Unlike most companies that offer a translation management system, Smartling is focused on providing the best possible software to our customers using a continuous deployment method.

Can’t I just save my translations in spreadsheets?

You can. The challenge is that using spreadsheets for translations is not scalable or efficient, and over time, the human costs associated with manually moving content around make this an expensive and manual, human-intensive solution for most businesses.

Can I get by with just one workflow step?

You could just do translation and nothing more, but there is risk associated with that, just like there would be risk in publishing writing without having anyone edit or review it.

How many workflow steps do I really need?

You can still obtain a high-quality translation by using two steps – translation plus review. Most companies can obtain what they need by using this kind of process.

How common is a three-step translation process nowadays?

Many companies, especially those concerned with obtaining the highest quality, still use a three-step process. Companies that are less concerned with obtaining the highest quality or who do not have time for a three-step process are moving to other workflows.

What are some common examples of translation workflows?

The most common traditional workflow is a three-step process with human professionals. In the first step, translation takes place, followed by editing, which is then followed by professional proofreading. A professional translation process looks very similar to a professional writing process.

What types of translation workflows can be automated in Smartling?

Any number or combination of translation workflows, are fully supported in Smartling through our customizable workflows interface.

If I have my content in a captive translation management system today, how do I get it out of the system?

You can ask your vendor to give you access. Translations are typically considered a work for hire, so you are within your right as a client to ask for them.

Why is it important for me to have a translation management system that is independent from my translation vendor?

A translation management system offered by a translation vendor is essentially a “captive solution.” To have full control and autonomy over your proprietary content, you should ensure that you have an independent, vendor-agnostic technology.

What are the primary features I should look for in a translation management system?

Workflow automation, real-time translation memory access, visual translation interface with context, flexible translation options, user management, reporting and analytics.

What is a translation management system?

A translation management system (TMS) is a software tool that helps a company manage the people, processes, and content involved in translation. TMS is used when a company needs to translate website content, apps, marketing materials, etc.

How does translation memory speed up the process?

Translation memory can boost the productivity and throughput of a professional translator by enabling them to more quickly identify and apply the best translations to speed up the work.

How does translation memory improve translation quality?

The best translations ensure a consistent tone and terminology from one type of content to another. Translation memory helps ensure that brands speak “in a single voice” no matter how many translators have contributed translations.

How much more does specialized translation cost?

On average, specialized translation costs around 30% to 40% more than regular translation, but can be many times the cost of general, non-specialized translation.

Should I use machine translation for customer-facing content?

Generally, you should avoid machine translation for customer-facing content.

What if I have a large amount of content but not enough time or budget to use human translation?

In some cases, where volumes of content are large, such as user-generated content or other content that is of a lower priority and carries lower risk for the company, it can make sense to explore machine translation options.

Which type of content is most expensive to translate?

The more creativity or subject matter expertise required by the translator, the more expensive the content will be to translate. Translating taglines or patent law are two examples of expensive types of translation.

Which type of content is least expensive to translate?

Content of a general, non-technical nature is the least complicated to translate, and therefore is generally less expensive.

What does it cost to translate an email?

It depends on how much text there is to translate. Let’s assume, for example, that the email has 200 words and that the translation for the language you select is $0.15 per word. The cost would be $30 for one language.

What does it cost to translate a mobile app?

It depends on how much text there is to translate. Let’s assume, for example, that the mobile app has 2000 words and that the translation for the language you select is $0.15 per word. The cost would be $300 for one language. However, if you have more content to translate, or if you make frequent updates that require translation updates as well, translation memory can help decrease your overall costs.

What does it cost to translate a website?

When you’re looking to translate website content it depends entirely on how much content you wish to translate, and into how many languages. Let’s assume, for example, that the website has 20,000 words and that the translation for the language you select is $0.15 per word. The cost would be $3000 for one language. However, the more content you have to translate, the more translation memory can help decrease your overall costs.

What does it cost to translate a document?

It depends on the length of the document. Let’s assume, for example, that the document has 2000 words and that the translation for the language you select is $0.15 per word. The cost would be $300 for one language. However, if you have multiple documents to translate, translation memory can help decrease your overall costs.

How do I access the translation memory?

In Smartling, you can access the translation memory anytime by simply visiting the corresponding tab. You can download your complete translation memory at any time.

Why do I need real-time access to translation memory?

Your content changes all the time, and translation must also reflect the real-time nature of your ongoing, dynamic updates. Having a translation memory that can be accessed anytime with the latest updates made available to you instantly gives you greater control over your own content.

Can I share translation memory files across projects?

Of course. You can choose to apply your translation memory to all projects, or to keep certain types of projects separate from others.

Can I save a machine translation in my translation memory?

Yes, you can save a machine translation in the translation memory. However, it is generally not recommended that you do so unless a human translator is editing the translations. Otherwise, your translation memory will be “dirty” and may contain poor quality translations.

Can I have my online community contribute to my translation memory?

Sure, your online community can submit translations that will be stored in your translation memory, provided that you are using a cloud-based translation management system.

Can I have my in-house employees contribute to my translation memory?

Yes, in-house employees can easily save translations to your translation memory, without having to purchase and install additional desktop software, so long as you are using a cloud-based translation management system.

Is the translation memory mine to keep?

All translations stored in your translation memory are yours to keep and re-use in the future. No vendor should ever refuse to give you your translation memory files.

I’d like to get trained on Smartling. Can I start before the client invites me into a project?

Absolutely. You can sign up for live training anytime. Or, visit our translator training area to watch our video tutorials or read our how-to guides. We also recommend receiving training when you’re already assigned to a project so that the training is fresh when you start translating.

Will Smartling send translation projects to me directly?

When our customers ask for translation services, Smartling sends translation work to our translation provider partners.

Can I become a referral partner?

Yes. If you have direct clients that you think will benefit from using our language software, learn more about becoming a referral partner.

What is Smartling?

Smartling is a cloud-based software solution that streamlines the process of translation.

When was Smartling founded?

Smartling was founded in 2009.

Where is Smartling located?

Smartling is headquartered in New York City, with an additional office in the Boston area.

Who backs Smartling?

Smartling is privately held and backed by leading venture capital firms First Round Capital, Harmony Partners, ICONIQ Capital, IDG Ventures, Tenaya Capital, U.S. Venture Partners, and Venrock.

Who uses Smartling?

Businesses that want to translate websites, translate mobile apps, and translate documents into other languages.

Who pays for Smartling?

Only our business customers pay for access to Smartling. Translators and translation providers do not pay for access to work on their clients’ projects.

What am I buying when I become a Smartling customer?

You’re purchasing a subscription to use the Smartling platform. This includes Smartling’s full suite of translation system capabilities and benefits as well as training and support.

What kind of professional services will I receive as a Smartling customer?

You will be assigned a Client Services Manager, who will function as your primary contact for onboarding. You’ll also receive training for you and your translation providers.

Is online support available?

Yes. On-demand support (including a knowledge base, documentation, and training videos) is available at our help center, support.smartling.com.

Does Smartling provide training?

Yes. Smartling provides scheduled training sessions and also offers on-demand training courses to our enterprise customers and translation partners.

Which time zones do you cover?

Smartling has dedicated customer support resources in both North America and Europe that handle service requests via our help center. The help center also contains our knowledge base, which includes a full set of documentation and training videos.

How do I reach client services?

Visit our help desk.

Where can I monitor my support tickets?

Requesters can monitor the progress of their tickets, request escalations, and provide clarifications at support.smartling.com.

During what hours can I obtain phone support?

Primary service hours are 3am to 6pm Eastern Time (9am to 12am Central European Time), Monday to Friday, excluding holidays. We will respond to every request within 24 hours during primary service hours.

Do you have an emergency response escalation?

Yes, a dedicated emergency response escalation is available on a 24/7 basis.

What is the response time for emergency escalations?

We respond to emergency escalations within 15 minutes.

Why should I use a translation management system?

Using a translation software platform saves you from manually emailing files back and forth, managing version control for all of these files, trying to figure out which ones need translation, managing multiple vendors, and having limited control over your content and your processes.

What is the Smartling translation management system?

The Smartling platform is a powerful translation management system that allows you to capture, manage, and deliver content into other languages and countries.

How does Smartling save me time?

Smartling offers technology that accelerates the process of getting your content translated, managed, and delivered to your customers. Smartling also offers a Global Delivery Network option that speeds up technology implementation and frees up your own technical resources.

How does Smartling improve translation quality?

The Smartling platform improves translation quality right from the start of the translation process by making the translator’s work easier through a translation tool with visual context. Because the translator can see the content in context while translating, errors are prevented, thereby boosting translation quality.

How does Smartling save me money?

The Smartling platform includes translation memory, which can instantly reduce your translation costs by eliminating the need to translate the same content multiple times. However, the biggest way that Smartling saves you money is by saving you time and making your process more efficient and scalable. Your staff can manage more work with fewer people overall.

How does Smartling help others at my company?

Smartling frees up your translation resources by streamlining the translation process and making everyone’s work more efficient. For example, if your developers are involved in the translation process today, they’ll be grateful they can focus on their areas of core competency instead of having to spend so much time on translation tasks.

Does Smartling create the translations?

No. Smartling provides technology that stores your translated content and manages the translation process. The translations themselves are performed by whomever you deem best-suited to your company’s translation projects. With Smartling, you have access to a full range of translation service options.

What if I don’t have my own translation providers?

Contact us, and we are happy to connect you to our network of trusted translation partners.

Can my current translation providers work in Smartling?

Absolutely. It’s typical for customers to bring their translation agencies with them when they move to the Smartling translation system. We provide them with complimentary training, support, and access.

Can my company’s bilingual staff work in Smartling?

Yes, of course. The best way to involve bilingual staff is to have them review translations at first to help get translation providers up to speed, and then to gradually taper off their involvement over time, once the right level of quality has been obtained.

How is Smartling different from other technologies?

Smartling is a platform, not a single tool. Many “translation technologies” specialize in a single thing—just websites, just document translation, or just a translation interface. Smartling offers all of these technologies and more in a single platform.

Is Smartling a content management system?

No. Smartling works seamlessly with your content management system, but does not replace it. Think of Smartling as a place to store and manage multilingual content, but with translation workflow automation and other features that are specific to the process of translation. Smartling offers connectors to popular content management systems, such as Adobe CQ, Drupal, and Sitecore.

Do I need to stop using my existing content management system?

Absolutely not. You can continue using any content management system you choose. Smartling’s language software will work alongside it.

Which content management systems do Smartling customers use?

Smartling has customers using every major content management system, including those that are common to specific industries or niche areas. The content management system you’re using doesn’t influence your ability to use Smartling, since our platform is CMS-agnostic.

Does Smartling replace computer-assisted translation tools?

Yes, the translation interface in Smartling eliminates the need for you or your translation providers to purchase separate computer-assisted translation tools.

Does Smartling replace glossary and style guide development tools?

Yes, Smartling has a built-in glossary tool, making a separate tool unnecessary. The same is true of the style guide creation tool.

Do translators like translating in Smartling?

Yes, translators routinely post positive, independent reviews of Smartling on third-party sites. We also provide them with high-quality human and online support so that they can get quick answers to questions.

Do translators have to pay for licenses?

No, translators never pay to translate using Smartling.

Do translators have to pay for training?

No, all training is provided to our customers’ translators for free.

Can I get an in-context view for document translation in Smartling?

Definitely. The in-context view for document translation is one of the most popular features of the Smartling translator interface.

How does context for documents work?

Smartling generates an HTML view of the document that closely resembles that of the original document, enabling you to speed up translation.

What is the Global Delivery Network used for?

The Global Delivery Network eliminates the need to internationalize your code. It’s the fastest, least expensive way to undertake website localization. If your website or web app already has externalized strings and is ready for localization, our translation management system can be used to make the process of translation faster and less resource-intensive.

Is there anything it can’t be used for?

The Global Delivery Network cannot be used to translate mobile and desktop applications, or documents. Our translation management system can be used for those types of projects.

Does the Global Delivery Network work with content delivery networks?

Yes, the cloud-based Global Delivery Network works hand-in-hand with content delivery networks including as Akamai Technologies, Amazon CloudFront, CDNetworks, and Limelight Networks.

Is the Global Delivery Network faster than other proxy technologies?

Testing has confirmed that competing proxy technologies take up to a full second longer to load each page when compared with the Global Delivery Network. This makes the Global Delivery Network the fastest website translation solution.

What enterprise security and data protection certifications does Smartling have?

Smartling has PCI DSS Level 1, SSAE 16 SOC 2, and HIPAA enterprise security and data protection certifications.

What does the Global Delivery Network offer me as a marketer?

The Global Delivery Network gives marketing professionals a fast and easy way to reliably launch multilingual sites and web apps. It also minimizes distractions for your technical team, allowing them to focus on delivering against your product roadmap.

I’m a software engineer. What does the Global Delivery Network offer me?

The Global Delivery Network will eliminate the need to internationalize your website or web app, which would otherwise be tedious and cumbersome. Instead, you’ll be able to work with your product managers to devote all of your time to developing exciting product features for your company.

How long will it take me to internationalize my website or dynamic Web application using the traditional process?

Website internationalization takes months or up to a year of developer time. It’s time-consuming to externalize strings, create database storage for translations, implement translated content delivery mechanisms, script the import/export of content, and fix encoding throughout your infrastructure.

How long does website or web app translation take with Smartling?

With Smartling’s Global Delivery Network, even complex websites and dynamic Web applications, like an e-commerce website, are typically up and running within just a matter of weeks with minimal or no integration required.

Can’t I translate without technology like Smartling?

You can. However, translation technology boosts quality, and businesses can speed up translation and reduce costs, making global expansion easier. If you’re a business and you translate regularly, it’s in your company’s best interest to leverage translation technology.

Is Smartling an automatic translation tool?

No. Our software does not automate the linguistic component of the translation process. Our technology automates manual steps in the process (sending files back and forth, notifying vendors that content is ready for translation, etc.).

Should I use Google Translate or another computer-generated translation tool?

Not if the content carries risk. Computer-generated translation is generally not good enough for publication quality, particularly for technical content like manufacturing content. Professional human translation is an important part of nearly every translation project.

Does Smartling support crowdsourced translation?

Our technology supports an unlimited number of translators logged in at the same time. A small number of companies have their communities translate using the Smartling platform. This is not a best practice for most types of content, and we suggest professional human translation for the vast majority of scenarios.

I’m a translator. How do I work with Smartling?

Freelance professionals like you are the most popular users of our language software. Our in-context translation interface makes your life easier, improving quality from the very start. A built-in translation memory, glossary, and style guide puts all the information you need in one central place. Translators never pay to use Smartling, never have to download any software or worry about version control, and can work from anywhere in the world.

How much does translation cost?

Translation ranges in price from less than ten cents per word up to nearly one dollar per word. Smartling provides out-of-the-box translation analytics to monitor translation costs.

How are translation services priced?

Translation is normally priced by the word. Some providers charge by the sentence, the line, the character, or even by page. We can provide further guidance on selecting the best translation companies and resources for your business.

Why is the cost of translation so variable?

The cost of translation depends on who is providing it and where they are located. The language being translated into (for example, French or German) will also affect the cost. Finally, the quality of translation often influences the cost significantly.

What is included in the cost of translation?

Typically translation providers will include a two-step process, at a minimum, in your per-word cost—usually translation plus review. Sometimes, providers include three steps: translation, editing, and proofreading, also known as a “TEP process.” On top of this, providers usually assign someone to manage the project. Smartling’s translation software platform provides workflow management for each of these options.

What is the price per word for European languages?

Between common European languages (such as French, Italian, German, Spanish) and English, the normal price per word in the industry is anywhere from 15 to 30 cents per word., depending on the type of translation.

Is machine translation a good way to reduce costs?

Not necessarily. Most businesses do not use machine translation to reduce costs, but rather, to increase speed. Online machine translation, such as Google Translate, is less expensive than professional human translation, but even Google Translate has a cost when used for any large volumes. Professional-grade machine translation engines can be more costly, but can be useful for large volumes with a high degree of content overlap.

Is translation memory a good way to reduce costs?

Yes, translation memory can be an excellent way to reduce the total cost of translation over time. Generally, companies can see between 40% and 90% overlap in their content. Even companies with a small amount of content can realize significant cost savings from translation memory.  Not only that, but translation memory offers additional benefits, such as quality and consistency. Companies with a high degree of content complexity across many different parts of a company can see even bigger benefits from using translation memory.