Translation Workflow

What is a Workflow?

A workflow is a sequence of steps through which content passes and is translated from Authorization to Published. Workflows are instrumental to the speed and quality in which your content is translated.


Workflows can have as many steps as you require. At a minimum, once content is authorized for translation, there must be one translation step before content is published. Fewer steps can result in quicker turnaround time for translations, however many steps can increase the translation quality.

Consideration must also be given to how your content is translated - human or machine translation.

Human translation is the preferred method for most content types, as we rely on human translators to make conscious decisions based on their experience and understanding of our brand. There is also more flexibility in choosing a specific person to translate specific content for a specific language. Typically, human translation is completed in  the CAT Tool, using a Translation workflow.

Alternatively, transcreation is another form of human translation particularly useful for content of high-value, and intending to gain your brand exposure. It encompasses a sometimes lengthy process, which adapts the meaning, intent, style and tone of the content, rather than the actual words. Transcreations are completed in  the Transcreation Tool, using a Transcreation workflow.

By design, machine translation offers a rapid solution to translating content at speed. The performance of machine translation has advanced rapidly in the last number of years. You can now train MT's engines to translate any content type in your preferred style and tone. This is known as neural machine translation. This training takes time and continuous testing to get right. Machine translation is completed in  the CAT Tool, using a Translation workflow.

Your workflow can be configured to combine the best of both worlds. Building a multi-step machine translation workflow, which keeps a human in the loop in a review or edit step, might be the best option for the translation of some of your content.

Consult your Customer Success Manager on which options are best for you and your content.

Workflow Types: Account-level vs Project-level Workflows

Workflows can be created for individual projects or for the entire account, making them available for all projects under that account.

Account-level workflows are the recommended option as they are never affected by any project-level modifications you make, such as adding or removing an Agency or Translation Resource, or modifying idle string rules. Ultimately, building workflows on an account-level reduces additional steps required when making changes to your account. Only an Account Owner will see the option to create account-level or project-level workflows.

Project-level workflows are preferred you want to restrict access to Project Managers, as they cannot create or make changes to account-level workflows.


Additional Documentation on Workflows

  1. Learn about Smartling's Dynamic Workflows
  2. Learn about Smartling's Idle String Rule
  3. Learn about copy source to target workflows
  4. How to create and configure a workflow

Was this article helpful?