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The Smartling Terminology Directory

This directory of terminology provides definitions of important terms related to Smartling and the localization industry. It is divided into the following sections:


Active Strings

Active strings refer to strings in Smartling, in any state, that have an associated file. If the strings are removed from the file, or the file has been removed from Smartling, the strings become inactive.

Empty Segment

An empty segment occurs when there's no translatable text in a string/segment. As there is nothing that can be translated in the CAT Tool for this string/segment, it results in an error flagged when attempting to complete work on a Job in the CAT Tool.  A string/segment must have at least one translatable character to save/submit a translation. A potential workaround is to exclude the string from translation.


"Exclude" is an action taken on one or more strings. It removes the string from the translation workflow, and will allow to it to remain in the source language in the translated version of the content.

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 when they have been removed from the source file.

If a string is inactive and has no published translation, it will be deleted from the Smartling Dashboard 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. 


Ingested refers to when content is uploaded in Smartling for translation, via drag and drop or via any integration.


A unique identifier for a string. Depending on the source file format, keys can be generated automatically. However, some file formats require manual key creation, e.g. CSV.


A locale is a combination of a language with a specific country or region. For example, French (Canada). Locales are often identified with locale codes. In Smartling, locale codes follow the format of lower-case hyphen upper case. For example, fr-CA.


Like variants, namespace is an attribute of a string used in deduplication. Unlike variants, the namespace of a string is not shown in the dashboard, but is set by default to the file URL. This means that the same text uploaded in different files, even with the same variant values, will be considered different strings in Smartling. 

Original File

The original file, sometimes referred to as the source file, is an exact copy of the file as it was uploaded to Smartling, containing the source strings for translation.


A placeholder is dynamic content within a string, such as a name or an amount, that should not be translated. Translators must carry the placeholder over from the source string to the target string.


A repetition occurs when the same source string appears multiple times within the same set of content, such as a Smartling Job. A repetition is not drawn from translation memory, so it is different from a 100% Match or a SmartMatch. However, a repetition is invoiced at the same rate as a 100% Match.


A segment is a large string, further broken down into smaller units. Segments can be a single word, short phrase, or sentence(s). Translated segments are stored in the Translation Memory as segments, rather than as part of the larger string.


The source refers to the original content that you have to be translated. In Smartling, "source" is often used with locale, language, word, string, file, and site. 


A string is the basic unit of translation. Depending on the source file format, strings can be parsed differently. A string can sometimes be broken down further, into one or more segments.


The target refers to the content in its translated state.


Variants are metadata, such as a version number, date, or URL path indicating the location of a source string. They are used to deduplicate strings, so the same string can be translated differently depending on the context.


Non-translatable spacing surrounding translatable characters within a string.


Smartling Platform


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


The Authorize function sends the content uploaded to Smartling to the first step of the workflow -  typically the Translation step. To authorize a Job can be considered as "signing-off" on the translation costs for the task at hand.

Awaiting Authorization

Awaiting Authorization is a status in which your source content sits as soon as it is ingested or created in Smartling. Content remains in an Awaiting Authorization status until a permitted user manually authorizes the Job via the dashboard, or until it is automatically authorized by Jobs Automation rules or via the auto-authorize functionality of a Smartling integration solution. Content that was authorized for translation, and is subsequently removed from the Job, switches back to an Awaiting Authorization status until it is once again authorized for translation.


A Blocklist is a list of terms that should never be included in your translated content. Blocklisted terms are flagged as errors in the CAT Tool, and are forbidden from being submitted with translations.

CAT Tool

The CAT Tool is Smartling's computer assisted translation tool. This is where all the translating, editing, and reviewing of content takes place. 

Cost Estimate

A cost estimate is used to anticipate translation costs before work begins, removing the need to manually calculate costs offline. Cost estimates are generated using the rate information configured in rate cards.


A Glossary in Smartling is a list of important terms or phrases used in a specific way by your brand with details on how they should be treated by Translation Resources.

Idle String Rule

The idle string rule automatically moves stagnant content along the workflow, based on a configurable time frame.


Issues are a way for users to communicate about the source content and translations. There are two types of Issues; Source Issues, and Translation Issues. A Translator might create a Source Issue to ask a question about the source content. Similarly, a, Account Owner, Project Manager, or Internal Reviewer might create a Translation Issue to ask a question about or comment on a translation of a particular string.


In Smartling, a Job is a content translation task, containing a scope of strings and locales, that progresses through a workflow.

Jobs Automation

The Jobs Automation feature allows you to automatically create and even authorize Jobs based on a number of rules.

Language Pair

A language pair is a combination the source locale and target locale, typically defined in a Project's linguistic package. For example, if you are translating from English (United States) to French (France), then these two locales would be considered the language pair.

Leverage Configuration

A leverage configuration controls which completed translations from your Translation Memories are available to a given Project or set of Projects, and how these translations can be leveraged by new source content in those Projects.

Linguistic Asset

A Linguistic Asset is one of the following: Translation Memory, Glossary, Style Guide, Leverage Configuration, and Quality Check Profile. A collection of Linguistic Assets is a Linguistic Package.

Linguistic Package

A Linguistic Package is a collection of the following Linguistic Assets: Translation Memory, Glossary, Style Guide, Leverage Configuration, and Quality Check Profile. A Linguistic Package can be assigned to one or more Projects.


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 customers, Projects, workflows, or languages. Also referred to as an Agency or "Vendor".

Machine Translation

Machine Translation, commonly referred to as MT, is the translation of source content to a target language, performed by AI rather than by human translation resources.

MT Profile

An MT Profile is a method of securely storing credentials of an MT engine to use in Smartling for machine translation. MT Profiles can be easily deployed on Translation steps of Smartling workflows.

Request Translation

In Smartling, the Request Translation function is the starting point for the translation process. By requesting translation, you are creating a translation Job.

Prepublished Translation

A prepublished translations is a translation that is considered published, even though it is still in an earlier step of the translation workflow.


A Project in Smartling is a translation environment, workspace or channel within your Smartling account. It includes Language Pairs, Linguistic Packages, and users. Customers can organize their Projects as needed to make sure that the right people have access to the specific content type (e.g.: legal documents, marketing assets etc.).

Pseudo Translations

Pseudo Translation is the simulation of translations, which allows you to view the resemblance of the translated content and make strategic decisions on layout and sizing requirements. Pseudo Translations take the original strings and changes the formation of the characters to increase or decrease the length of each string, in an attempt to replicate the fact that some locales typically require more characters than others. Pseudo Translation is particularly useful for visualizing the impact that translation will have on design and layout, without having to wait for the translation to be completed.


Published is a status in Smartling in which your translations are completed and are ready for download. Depending on your integration, published translations can be automatically sent from Smartling back to the source platform (e.g. your CMS or Code Repository).

Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance is a report users in the CAT Tool can run to list any quality check errors so they can be addressed before saving and submitting the translations.

Quality Check 

A quality check is a process designed to ensure high-quality translations. There are three types - translation consistency, spacing, and other. Each type has a number of quality checks options and configurable severity levels. Quality check errors are flagged to users in the CAT Tool and Review Mode. 

Quality Check Profile

A Quality Check Profile in Smartling is a collection of quality checks and severity levels. Account Owners and Project Managers can customize the Quality Check Profile for a Smartling Project by adding it to the Linguistic Package assigned to that Project.

Rate Card

Rate Cards contain the per-word or per-hour rates of linguists or Agencies. These rates are then used to calculate translation costs for Jobs in a cost estimate


Smarting users can Reject a string in order send it backwards in the workflow. Users most commonly Reject strings if they feel that the linguist in the previous steps needs to re-do the work.This can be done in the CAT Tool, Review Mode, or the Strings View.

Review Mode

Review Mode is a tool in Smartling to facilitate the approval or rejection of translations, string by string. It is an alternative to the Smartling CAT Tool, with minimal features to ensure focus on the translation reviewal.

Saved Translation

A saved translation is a translated string that has been successfully saved, but not yet submitted. A saved translation is automatically stored in the Translation Memory.


An acronym for Smartling Languages Services - Smartling' own LSP. For more information, contact

Style Guide

A Style Guide a type of Linguistic Asset in Smartling, detailing your preferences regarding content formatting, writing tone, and style. It is a tool for ensuring the language and tone of your brand is found accurate and consistent in your translations. 


Job: When a Requester creates a Job, they "submit" it to the Project Manager or Account Owner of the account to authorize for translation.

Translation: When a Translation Resource user has completed work on the content in the CAT Tool, they "submit" it to the next step in the workflow.


Transcreation is the process of adapting content from one language to another without losing consistency in tone, intent, and style. Whereas Translation is typically a literal translation of the source words, Transcreation is considered to be a translation of the meaning or intent of the source content.

Translation Memory

The Translation Memory is a database of all previous translations that have occurred within your Smartling account, and any translations that you may have imported to Smartling. Translation Memory can be imported in TMX file format, which is an industry standard. New source content can leverage the Translation Memory, allowing for cost savings, time savings, and translation consistency.

Translation Unit

A Translation Unit is a source string or segment, paired with the corresponding
translated string or segment in the Translation Memory. 


Unauthorize is an action that users can take to remove strings from the workflow, thus removing them from the queues of the Translation Resources. There are two ways that a string can be unauthorized:

  1. At a string-level: If a user stops the translation via the Strings View Actions.
  2. At a Job-level: If a user cancels a Job that is in progress.

Weighted Words

Weighted Words is an estimate model that accounts for Translation Memory leverage and repetitions. For example, perhaps due to Translation Memory Leverage, a Job with 10,000 words feels more like 8,000. Thus, your Language Services Providers may only invoice you for 8,000 words even though the Job technically contains 10,000.


A workflow is a sequence of steps through which content passes for translation. For example, a workflow may include the following steps: Authorization > Translation > Editing > Review > Published.



100% Match

A 100% Match occurs when the text of a new source 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.)

Fuzzy Match

A Fuzzy Match occurs when a Translation Memory match exists for a new source string, but it is not 100% identical. Fuzzy Matches 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 insert and edit them instead of translating from scratch.


A SmartMatch occurs when a new source string matches perfectly a string in the Translation Memory. However, unlike 100% matches, SmartMatches require additional metadata (such as tags, placeholders, variants, whitespace, and capitalization) to also be exact matches. SmartMatches are most commonly sent directly to the Published step, skipping the workflow entirely, allowing for significant cost and time savings, while ensuring translation consistency.



Content Velocity

Content Velocity refers to the average time a word or string spends in a workflow step, for each workflow, from content authorization to publishing.

Content Change

Content Change reports provide insight into how much translated content is changing as it moves through the workflow.

Processed Words

A Processed Word is a translation that has been saved by a human translator or third-party provider (machine translation.

String Changes

The String Changes Report allows you to view and download the history of changes that were made to a translated string.

Word Count

Word counts reflect the number of source words and weighted words handled by each user, broken out by language, workflow step type, and fuzzy tier. Word count reports represent the quantity of work done by translators, editors and reviewers in a Smartling account over a particular time period.  They are intended for tracking and invoicing of work completed.

Words Under Management

Words Under Management is the total authorized words in a Smartling account, over time.




Auto-authorize is a setting that allows you to automatically authorize strings that are submitted to Smartling via an integration.


Acronym for Country Code Top-Level Domain. A domain strategy for a localized website, often used by customers of the Global Delivery Network. For example, (Germany), (United Kingdom), (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. 


Connectors are productized Smartling integrations for numerous source content platforms.


DNS is an 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. The different Editmodes allow you to view information about your translated sites, and in some cases, manage GDN functionality like content authorization and Static Cache. They are also referred to as Preview Modes.


Acronym for Smartling's Global Delivery Network, a proxy-based integration method that enables you to translate your website and web applications without the need to internationalize your site, or build and manage your localized sites within your CMS.

Language Configuration

Language Configuration is the mapping of locale codes in the Smartling Project to the locale codes used in the source content platform. For example, perhaps German in Smartling has a locale code of 'de-DE', but the locale code is just 'de' in the source content platform. 


OAuth (Open Authorization) is an open standard authorization framework for token-based authorization, and it provides the ability to connect your Smartling account to another application securely, without sharing visibility over credentials. In any case, the method will be fully secure and tokenized.

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.

Source Site

A source site is the website containing the content that you intend to translate into your various target locales. It is also sometimes referred to as your Origin.

Static Cache

Static Cache is a translation caching feature within the GDN, used to help prevent untranslated content from appearing on your localized sites.


A translation management system (TMS), is a type of software, typically cloud-based, which is used to manage the process of localizing content in a singular, collaborative environment. Smartling is a TMS. The idea of a translation management system is to facilitate an organized localization process “under one roof” with maximum efficiently.

Smartling includes powerful tools that can automate most (if not all) of the process, while keeping humans in the loop to enrich the translations with creativity and personality, where needed.

Smartling reduces time and costs by replacing the archaic method of emailing spreadsheets between content writers, to languages service professionals, to Marketing departments and engineering teams.
Smartling can integrate directly with the source of the content, such as a website, CMS or Help Center, and give the necessary professionals access to managing and translating the content within the TMS. Once translation is complete, Smartling can automatically deliver the content back to the destination platform, by means of a Connector, plugin, Smartling's GDN, or custom API integration.


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