How Smartling Works

Looking to provide the best localized content possible? Here's how Smartling will help you do just that.


If your brand is looking to offer an absolute killer end-user experience, then you probably already understand the importance of localization.

You know that content doesn’t only need to be translated, but also transformed. Content needs to remain consistent, and maintain those key elements that define your brand voice and mission. This is where Smartling comes in.

We believe that the process can be made even more efficient. In order to do just that, Smartling is an entire platform that brings together both technology and language services. And because Smartling can do so much, you may be wondering “How Does Smartling Work?”

In a sentence, Smartling integrates with your content platforms so that you can easily submit and retrieve professional translations with the click of a button, or by programming process automation.

With the ability to use our own, or other, translation services, and a willingness to translate any content -- no matter how small -- Smartling can work for any size project or brand that is looking to localize their content in new regions. Want to translate an entire website? No problem. Have an app that you want to scale from English into the FIGS? We’ve got you covered.

Yet, that still doesn’t quite tell the whole story. Let’s look deeper and break down just how Smartling works.

What is Smartling?

Just to offer a solid foundation moving forward, we want to begin by defining Smartling. Simply put, Smartling is a cloud-based Translation Management System (TMS).

This means that Smartling enables organizations to both manage and translate content on a global scale, all while automating the process to reduce the time, energy and money spent on localizing content. This content can be anything from entire websites, to video subtitles, to image captions, to entire mobile applications, and much more.

As just a brief overview, Smartling provides organizations with:

By combining robust content management, automated translation, powerful integrations with existing tools, machine learning, and much more, Smartling offers a complete and comprehensive solution.

How Smartling Works

Smartling is much more than a cloud database of content waiting to be translated. Smartling provides the necessary tools to not only manage content, but also make the translation process as efficient and consistent as possible.

Translators perform their work in the Smartling computer-aided translation (CAT) tool. Translators do NOT download your documents to translate them, but rather, all the work happens in your Smartling account, in a browser, with all the tools they need, and all the information about your project at their fingertips.

Smartling enables organizations to grow their brand globally with four major aspects of the platform:

1. Automate and Integrate

With powerful automation, Smartling keeps content moving, and translations flowing at a rapid pace. For example, directly integrating with existing processes and the tools that make those possible -- for example, uploading content to a CMS -- Smartling enables users to then automate the entire process around the actual translation.

Smartling is capable of integrating with just about any platform or tool that your brand is already leveraging:

  • Adobe Experience Manager
  • Contentful
  • Drupal
  • Sitecore
  • WordPress

Out of the box, Smartling can also integrate directly with Hubspot, Marketo, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and Oracle Eloqua to simplify and automate marketing efforts.

And on top of our existing integrations, organizations are free to leverage our API to build their own. In fact, Smartling can integrate with just about any platform, even homegrown solutions that might be unique to your brand.

The whole idea, of course, is to provide greater control and simplicity over the process. For example, if your organization is utilizing a WordPress website, translators would be logging directly into your CMS!

Or, instead of giving away access to your CMS, linguists only log into Smartling. All work is done within Smartling, and the process can even be automated, so that the finished piece will be sent directly to internal review or even pushed live right there.

2. Manage Content and Optimize Efficiency

Part of the beauty behind Smartling is the ability to not only translate your content, but manage it down to the very fine details. Since Smartling will be integrated with your existing CMS, the management process can then be handled directly through Smartling.

Blog Tile - Ecomm Success

Users gain a much stronger grasp over their content, and the ability to stay organized and efficient in the process of storing, translating, and publishing that content. Some of the major management features within Smartling include:

  • A global view of all translations with real time progress and stats updates
  • One single source of truth for every channel - Manage and update all of your translations for all types of content within just one dashboard
  • Delegate and assign tasks to teams - Manage and assign projects to content creators, translators, internal reviewers, and developers
  • View upfront costs - Know exactly what you’ll pay before you even begin a project, and how much you can save leveraging translation memory
  • Stay on Brand - Ensure consistency with brand glossaries, termbases, and global style guides
  • Translation Memory - Reuse translations to reduce costs
  • Manage your translation memories - Export translations to TMX file anytime

Not to mention, a vast majority of this entire management process can also be automated for even greater efficiency. For example, completed translations can automatically be sent to the next step in the process, which may be an internal review.

The platform also makes it possible for organizations to deliver their translated content in multiple methods, and with little developer experience or knowledge necessary; for example the Global Delivery Network (Web Proxy) makes it easy for brands to provide translated content on-demand, as it is requested by the end-user.

Smartling makes it easy to not only organize your content and manage both the translation and publication process, but even enables users to speed everything up while still maintaining the highest level of quality.

3. Supercharge Translation

With a rich set of translation tools, Smartling makes it incredibly simple for linguists and professional translators to truly transform your brand’s content into another language.

Smartling replaces the age-old method of emailing translation spreadsheets to and from language service providers with in-context translation editing that makes it easy for linguists to ensure the highest level of consistency and quality.

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Localization managers utilize Smartling as a translation management system bundling content that must be translated into jobs, and then assigning those jobs to specific linguists. Each job will contain content, which Smartling will then divide even further into Strings.

Strings can be individual words, phrases or sentences within your content, and Smartling does a great job of recognizing the same words or phrases within your entire website or app so that content won’t be duplicated within the Smartling interface.

Upon logging into Smartling, translators will immediately gain access to their assigned jobs and can begin translating strings. In fact, Smartling even provides translators with visual context so they always can see exactly what they are working on, and how that string fits into the larger piece of content.

The actual translation process happens right inside Smartling, with a built-in Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tool.

The tasks surrounding this management of content is what will be automated, but Smartling also works to make the job of human translators as simple as possible as well, thanks to:

  • Visual Context - Translators can preview their work live, on any format
  • Real-time Translation Memory
  • Version Control - Only new content that is uploaded will be surfaced for translations, old content will be translated from Smartling’s memory
  • Brand Assets - Resources for tone and brand guidelines
  • Integrated Quality Checks - Real-time quality checks help save time proofreading
  • Keyboard Shortcuts - Save time on every action
  • Merge Strings - Consolidate segments with just one keystroke
  • Flexible Tag Handling - Utilizes machine learning to accurately place tags
  • Automatic Routing - Smartling keeps content moving, and automatically routes a completed translation to the next step

With Smartling’s CAT, Visual Context is always provided to translators, enabling translators to understand exactly what content they are translating, and how their words fit within that context. Once the translation itself is complete, translators can quickly move to the next task thanks to automatic routing.

4. Analyze Quality and Improve

With deep insights into not only what your translators are doing, but also how the entire platform is working to facilitate content translation, organizations can drastically improve the quality of those translations.

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In fact, Smartling is always evolving, thanks to Machine Learning. Smartling provides a number of different functions to enable the optimization process backed by data:

  • Quality Confidence Score
  • Custom Reporting
  • Workflow Analysis

Two of the most valuable reports are the Content Change and Content Velocity by Workflow Step reports. Together, they can be used to gain a deeper understanding of the exact value each workflow step is contributing to translation quality.

Customers can pinpoint and explain bottlenecks, and more importantly make adjustments to their workflow to improve translation outcomes. For example, many customers find that content is unchanged in the internal review step despite taking 20 days for the content to advance in the workflow.

What Makes Smartling Unique?

Smartling created the category of cloud translation. Every single activity related to the translation process is captured by Smartling and synthesized into actionable data that customers use every day to drive innovation within their business.

This paired with the ability to realize high quality translation with visual Context, a plethora of process automation settings and translators that you will know, Smartling is the most unique offering on the market.