The CAT Tool

QA Translations

This article is for Translators and Editors.

Smartling automatically detects several categories of translation errors. By running a quality check, errors will be captured and highlighted for you to address within the CAT tool before submitting your strings.

Run Quality Checks on Translations

  1. In the CAT tool, select the Quality Check tab to run quality checks on all translations currently on your screen. (This creates a report of all errors detected in your translations. A string with a translation error will show a warning icon next to it. The color of the warning icon depends on the severity of the error.)
  2. If you click on an error, it will bring you to where the error occurs where you can then fix it. The report updates itself in real time. Once you are certain that you have fixed all quality errors, you are ready to submit your translations.

Errors Captured Through Quality Checks

Translation Consistency

Placeholder: A placeholder in the source is causing an error.

  • Incorrect spacing around placeholders: The spacing around placeholders in the source differs from what's in the target.
  • Placeholder added: There's a placeholder in the target that wasn't in the source.
  • Placeholder deleted: There's a missing placeholder in the target that was originally in the source.

Number Consistency: A numerical discrepancy between the source string and translated string.

  • Incorrect number format conversion: Takes into account how numbers are localized. For example, French uses a comma for a dollar value instead of a period.
  • Number added: A number was added in the target that's not in the source.
  • Number missing: A number is missing in the target that was originally in the source.

Tag Consistency: A tag in the source is causing an error.

  • Spaces around tags: Checks to see if spacing around source tags is the same as what's in the target.
  • Tag added
  • Tag deleted
  • Tag order changed: For example, the source has a word in bold, followed by a word in italics, but the target has that order reversed.

Insertable Consistency:

  • Insertable added
  • Insertable deleted

Emoji Consistency: An emoji in the source is causing an error.

  • Emoji added.
  • Emoji deleted.
  • Do not allow emoji in translation.

Glossary Compliance: When a source string contains a glossary term, this quality check will check if a glossary translation was or was not used. The check will only run if term has a translation, or is a "do not translate" term. If it's a "do not translate" term, the check will see if the glossary source term was used in the target.

There are two possible settings:

  • Exact Match: Sees whether or not the exact translation for the glossary term was used. If it's not used, an error will be shown.
  • Match by Percentage: This allows for some word variation that you may have used. By default, the check is set to match the first 50%. This means that the check will look at the first 50% of the glossary translation and see if that series of characters appears in the target.

For example, let's say there's a glossary term for "drive", with a French Translation of "conduire". The first 50% of that word is "cond". If there is, for example, a conjugation of that verb in the target, such as "conduit", this would be marked as a match since the first characters of "conduit" contain "cond".

Match percentages can be set to 25%, 50%, or 75%. (Words under 6 characters must always use the Exact Match setting instead of Match by Percentage to help prevent false positives.)
As a Translator or Editor, you will only see Glossary Compliance checks if you click the Quality Check tab to run quality checks on all strings on the page, or when you're saving a string.

Segment Completeness: Checks to see if the target is of similar length to the source. If the target is 50% shorter or 250% longer than the source, a warning will get created.


Leading/Trailing Spaces: There is an extra space at the beginning or end of a segment.

  • Checks that spacing at the beginning/end of the translation is consistent with the source.

Spacing Error: There is an extra space within the segment.

  • Checks that translation is within the word count limit (Tags are not counted toward character limit.)

Target Length Limit: The number of characters in the target exceeds the limit that was set up on a per string basis.


Spell Check: A word is misspelled in the target language. (Default severity: low)

  • Skip if word starts with a capital letter.
  • Skip if word appears in source string.
  • Skip if word is valid in source locale.
  • Run spell check for hyphenated words.

Original String Equals Target String: (Default severity: low)

  • Check to see if the source string is exactly the same as the target. i.e. source is "Hello world" and translation is also "Hello world".

Repeated Word: Words repeat in succession. (Default severity: low)

  • Check to see if a word is repeated multiple times in a row, in a translation. For example, "A word is repeated repeated."

Target in the Wrong Language: Words in the target are in a different language from what should be translated. (Default severity: low)

  • Checks that translated string is in the target language: For example, if your source is in English, and the target should be French, but a segment has been translated into Spanish.

Source in the Wrong Language: Words in the source are in a different language from what needs to be translated. (Default severity: low)

  • Check that source string is in the source language: For example, the source should be in English, but a source string or segment is in Spanish.

In the Quality Check panel, you can see a list of errors found within your translations, at a segment level, informing you of the number of errors along with what they are.

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