Getting Started with Smartling

Localization Terminology

This glossary provides definitions of terms related to the localization industry, and more specifically, Smartling. It is divided into two sections: General and Global Delivery Network.


100% Match

When the text of a string matches the text of a string in the translation memory. It's considered a 100% match even if there are discrepancies with tags, placeholders, key values, etc. (This is not to be confused with a SmartMatch.)


Smartling's label for a Language Service Provider (LSP).

CAT Tool

Computer assisted translation tool. This is where all of the translating, editing, and reviewing takes place. See CAT Tool for more information.


Acronym for Country Code Top Level Domain, and correspond to a country, territory, or other geographic location. For example, .de (Germany), .uk (United Kingdom), .ca (Canada).


Acronym for Content Delivery Network (aka Content Distribution Network), a geographically distributed network of servers with the purpose of delivering content to users much faster. 

DTP - Desktop Publishing

DTP is a post-translation process ensuring the layout and composition of a translated documents is faithful to the source while also being fully translated and localized. DTP is most often needed for InDesign files resulting in published PDF's, indd files, and Composite Fonts. DTP can also be necessary for Word or Powerpoint files and can be required for some of our plugins too: Sketch, Illustrator, Photoshop.  

Fuzzy Match

When Smartling uses an existing Translation Memory (TM) to match source content with existing translations in the TM, it will often find word matches that are less than 100% identical. These are called "fuzzy matches" and are represented by the percentage to which they match (typical fuzzy match percentages are 50-99%). Translators can see these fuzzy matches in the CAT tool and choose to edit them instead of translating from scratch.


See the Global Delivery Network section of this page for more related terms.

Inactive Strings

Inactive strings refer to strings that have been removed from your source/original file. Inactive strings become unauthorized and are removed from the job. If a string is inactive and has no published translations, it will be deleted from the system entirely. However, published translations will remain in the Published queue, and will not be removed, simply marked as inactive. Basically, a string only becomes inactive when it's no longer part of any file in Smartling, and thus, Smartling assumes it should no longer be made available for translation. 

If content becomes inactive and removed from the system, Translation Resources will still receive credit for their work. 


Acronym for Language Service Provider. A group, usually operated as a business, who provides professional translation services including translation, editing, review, and proofreading. An LSP typically has a roster of individual professional translators (linguists) who can be assigned to work for specific clients. Also referred to as "Vendors".

Original File

This is an exact copy of the file as it was uploaded to Smartling. Contains the source strings.

Pseudo Translations

The original strings with added characters, to increase the length of each string (by 30 percent or more). Useful when testing your UI’s tolerance for longer strings without having to wait for the translation to be completed.


When the text in a string is identical to another string in the same set of content, such as a Job. A repetition is not drawn from translation memory, so it is different than a 100% Match or a SmartMatch. However, a repetition is invoiced at the same rate as a 100% Match.


The primary unit of translation. A segment can be a single word, short phrase, or sentence(s). The translation memory is segment based.


A string that perfectly matches a string in the translation memory, including any tags, placeholders, etc. SmartMatch compares new strings against existing translations in your leverage configuration to automatically apply translations to strings you've translated before.

Source Words

The total number of words in the original source language, regardless of any fuzzy matches, SmartMatches, or repetitions. 


Piece of translation. Based on the source, strings can be parsed differently. A string is then broken down further, into one or more segments.

Translation Memory

The database of your translated strings and segments.  The translation memory is used (leveraged)  by translators and automation tools in Smartling to translate new strings and segments faster and consistently. In Smartling the Translation Memory is live in the cloud so it's always up-to-date with the latest translations.


The process of adapting content from one language to another without losing consistency in tone, intent, and style. Unlike translation, where words or phrases are converted from one language into another, transcreation is based on the conversion of the essence of a message from one language to another, rather than verbatim.


Metadata, such as a version number, date, or URL path indicating the location of a source string.

Weighted Words

An approach to estimating the cost and effort required to translate a job that accounts for Translation Memory Leverage and Repetitions. Calculated by multiplying each word with the corresponding fuzzy match rate.

For example, let’s assume your job has ten source words, and that for words with an 85-94.9% fuzzy match, you will pay 60% of the per-word-rate. If all ten words fall into this fuzzy tier, there are six weighted words in the job. The reason is that 10 x 0.60 = 6.


Any unused/blank/negative space separating paragraphs, characters, or graphics within a document.

Global Delivery Network


See CDN above.


Acronym for Domain Name Service. A DNS is an internet service from which an IP address is obtained and associated with the name of its server.


A parameter appended to the localized URL. Editmode tells the GDN to display different parts of your translated site. They are also referred to as Preview Modes.


Acronym for Global Delivery Network. It is a Smartling translation proxy tool that enables you to translate your website and web applications without the need to internationalize your site or host, and manage translated content within your systems.

Proxy Server

A dedicated software running on a computer system that acts as an intermediary between your web browser and a server from which you are making a request. The GDN is an example of a proxy server that facilitates the localization of your website.

Pseudo Translation

See pseudo translation above.

Source Site

This is a Smartling term used to refer to the website for which your translated sites reference to capture and translate content. It is also sometimes referred to as your Origin.

Web Crawler

Also referred to as a "web spider". It is a program or automated script that methodically visits web sites and reads their pages to create entries for a search engine index and/or to provide up-to-date data.



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