File and String Instructions
File and string instructions help linguists understand the content that they are translating by providing additional helpful information about the content and how it should be treated. Therefore, file and string instructions are the most basic form of "context".
File instructions belong to the source file and are presented to the translators in all languages.
String instructions belong to the source string and are presented to the translators in all languages.
You cannot set a file or string instruction for a specific target locale but you can refer to the specific target locale in the instruction.
You cannot set a file or string instruction for a specific workflow step, but you can refer to the specific workflow step in the instruction.
String instructions are visible to all users in the Strings View via the Strings Detail dialog and are highlighted in the CAT Tool. String instructions are not visible to reviewers using the Review Mode.
File instructions are visible in Additional Details in the CAT Tool.
Add String Instructions (New Experience)
To add Translator instructions to individual strings, locate the string(s).
- From a Project, click the Strings tab.
- From a Job, click View Strings.
- You can use search or filters to locate the string.
- Select the string(s).
- Click Actions and select Edit Translator Instructions.
- Click Add Instructions and enter the instructions.
- Click Add
From here, you can choose to remove any existing string instructions by click Remove Instructions and check "Remove instructions from the selected strings", and click Remove.
Add String Instructions (Classic)
You can add Translator instructions to individual strings.
- Go to Content > Translations.
- Use the search filters to find the strings you want.
- Select the specific strings by using the checkboxes.
- Click the Actions drop-down menu and select Add Translator Instructions.
- In the New Instruction text box, enter the instructions.
- Click Save.
Add File Instructions (New Experience)
To add Translator instructions to files, which automatically puts the instructions into all translatable strings in the file:
- From a project, click the Files tab.
- In the top right corner of the file, click the three dots, and select Edit File Instructions.
- Add instructions or attach a file.
- Click Save.
Note: From here, you can also choose to upload an additional file as a job attachment for even further context.
An information icon will appear on any files with file instructions
Add File Instructions (Classic)
You can add Translator instructions to files, which automatically adds the instructions to all translatable strings in the file.
- Go to Content > Files.
- Use the search filters to find the file you want.
- At the right of the file entry, click the more icon, and select Add File Instructions.
- In the Add File Instructions dialog box, enter the instructions and/or attach a file, such as a PDF.
Instructions are visible to Translators from:
- The Additional Details section of the CAT tool.
- In the Classic Experience, Content > Translations then clicking the drop-down menu and selecting View Instructions.
Strings or Files with instructions display the 'i' icon next to them. You can click the icon to view or edit the instruction.
View String Instructions in the Strings View of the Dashboard
As mentioned above, string instructions are visible to all users in the Strings View via the Strings Detail dialog.
- Navigate to the Strings View of the Job
- From the Job, click View Strings, or click the Strings tab and filter for the Job or search for the source keyword.
- On the string, click the 3 dots under Actions > View String Instructions
This will open the String Details dialog where you can view the string instructions. From here, you can choose to edit, delete or add string instructions. Furthermore, here you can also view the string Issues and string History.
Viewing String Instructions in the CAT Tool
String instructions appear within an orange banner above the source string it was added to.
Viewing File Instructions in the CAT Tool
File instructions appear within the Additional Details panel of the CAT Tool beside File Instruction. You will also find a download link for any additional job attachments here.
Considerations when using Instructions
When translating content using CSV or resource file types, you can apply string instructions directly from within the source file by using a string instruction directive. The directive essentially points to the instruction and associated string. Please consult your chosen source file documentation for applicable string instruction directives.
When translating content via the Smartling API or other integration, string instructions can also be configured from within the integration, if this is not done so automatically. Please consult your Solutions Architect or developer for more on including string instruction functionality within your integration.
If your content contains dynamic content that you want to exclude from translation, such as discount amounts, names, or footer information, you can use placeholders to secure this text and exclude it from translation. This is a preferred method over adding an instruction to "not translate" a term within a string.
If your content includes HTML, Smartling will automatically capture and reformat the HTML into numbered tags in the CAT Tool so linguists know they do not have to translate the HTML. This means you do not have to add a string instruction to direct linguists not to translate the HTML. Linguists in the CAT Tool have the option to toggle tags to reveal the HTML, should they wish to do so.
If you want to instruct translators to translate within a certain character limit, it's best to apply the character limit to the string using the Edit Character Limit function under string Actions. This will flag the character limit to the translators in the CAT Tool as they translate. Quality Checks can also be configured so an error will flag if translations exceed the character limit.
If a translator opens a source Issue requiring clarification or further context in order to translate a string, it might be worth considering adding a string or file instruction in addition to answering the Issue. Although Issues are visible to all li guists working on a translation Job, the information could be missed to all linguists unless they check the Issues panel in the CAT Tool. Adding an instruction will ensure the information will not be missed, as it will appear highlighted in orange, above the string, as shown above.