The Top 6 Translation Management Features You Need

The most important features to keep in mind when shopping for a TMS.


As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Investing in a Translation Management System (TMS) for your business has the potential to enable higher quality translations while decreasing time spent on each task. Your brand can translate and ship localized content and products faster than ever.

In short, a TMS will increase profitability. The benefits of a TMS are so vast, they reach managers and even span to the translators themselves.

Sounds good to us!

But like we said before -- you get what you pay for. When companies pinch pennies upon deciding on what kind of TMS to employ, the power to elevate a company or brand can become severely compromised.

If functionality is what you seek, a robust Translation Management System is what you really need.

The 6 Top Translation Management Features You Need

At Smartling, we have a collective finger on the pulse of language services and related technological capabilities. If you think your business is ready for a TMS, here are the most important considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a TMS.

Consider this an early holiday gift as you plan for 2020 and beyond 😉

1. Visual Context

Without a complete understanding of how the translated copy will fit into the website, application or document that it will live in, translators will have to make their best guess as how to interpret the written text. Translators are working blindly.

Literally, a picture is worth a thousand words! Translators, editors, and reviewers will all be able to better understand source material and how it can be used if there are visuals.

Visual context allows the ability to confirm intended meanings, formatting, and a host of other linguistic subtleties that are integral to the accuracy and effectiveness of translated materials.

2. Data Analytics

All projects require data analysis to weigh spending against profit. Everything must be measurable. It’s almost 2020, after all ⌛

Enter: Smartling’s capabilities!

Our data team has identified the elements that impact translation quality the most; in comparison to the most efficient uses of time.

With unparalleled data at your fingertips, you can identify exactly when your time sucks occur. -- like internal review periods and email correspondence -- and provide visibility as to where projects become bottlenecked.

You will be able to make better-informed business decisions if you have access to the right data analytics. And that impacts your bottom line times ten!

3. Automation Capabilities

Automation, obviously, frees up time. That, obviously, makes automation a wise investment for your bottom dollar.

It enables users to configure automatic tasks within their technology tools to be initiated through specific triggers. The platform then carries out those specific tasks or follow-up actions based on the previously determined trigger.

If you’re looking to implement a TMS, automation should be a major component of the package you select. At Smartling, we have several options available to help keep your work flowing with both managing and translating your work:

Automated Workflows assuage your inbox anxiety.

  • Instead of hearing, “What did you mean by this email?” or, “When will the translation be ready to view?” you have the ability to drop in on any project at any given time to see how it is progressing.

Dynamic Workflows expedite the process of translation.

  • By using fuzzy match score and integrating automated decision-making rules, Dynamic Workflows at once simplifies and speeds up projects.

Be sure to select a TMS with automated options to optimize flexibility. And keep in mind it should serve all moving parts of the team!

4. A Cloud-Based Solution

The Cloud. ☁️

It serves many purposes (including to baffle The Olds), but to put it simply, Cloud-based technology is an always updated and backed up service that keeps your projects safely running.

A quality TMS will always be built in the Cloud. Applications built in the cloud have the benefit of constant accessibility. As long as you have a computer and an internet connection, you’re good to go. Smartling, for example, is used by translators literally in the mountains of Spain. How cool is that!

And since everything is in the Cloud, Translator’s work is always saved, and their dashboard is always the same no matter where or when they login. Its a win-win.

5. Translation Memory and TM Management

Just like you want your translators to have the capability to tap into the most recent documents, you want your translators to be able to access the most refined content.

Translation memory is your brand's ever-growing database of all previously translated content. Every time a new string is translated, the source and translated text will be entered into your translation memory database for quick access later.

Obvious benefits include:

  • Translation cost-savings (the more you translate, the less you have to translate in the future!)
  • Faster time to market and project turnaround
  • Translation quality improvement

Translation Memory enables your translators to save time, which in effect saves you money. Amazing!

6. Integrated Quality Checks

We always want to make sure we are churning out quality work. That thought spans industries!

When you are looking to select a TMS of greater quality, make sure there are capabilities for automated quality checks.

Being able to make sure content is polished and absolutely finalized before hitting the next step in the process will help ensure not only quality but also lead to less time fixing errors and, likely, a returning client.

Automated Quality Checks can be configured to ensure that translators correct any grammar, spelling, formatting or numerical errors in their translations prior to submission. You can even go as far as preventing submission before specific issues are cleaned up.

Enable the batch of translators you do have on hand to work with the latest and greatest tools. This act in and of itself will allow for quality content to be processed with ease and confidence.

Finding The Right Translation Management System

What do you think? Are you feeling more prepared to move forward with a robust TMS?

If you would like more information on what services Smartling offers, reach out to us! We would love to take you through our capabilities and help you secure the system that makes the most sense for your bottom line!

About Laura

Laura Wyant is a freelance digital strategist and writer/editor. She is currently working with start-ups, tech companies, and health and healing spaces. Laura has been contributing to the Smartling blog on topics around cloud translation, digital strategy, and overall creative translation process. When she isn’t working in media, she is working to educate herself on matters such as intersectional women’s health and advancements in technology.