Managing Translation Projects

Respond to Questions from Linguists

This article is for Account Owners and Project Managers.

Issues are a way for users working on translations to communicate information about the content and translations. For example, a Translator might create a Source Issue to ask a question about terminology in a particular string. Getting answers to their questions about your content helps them translate it quickly and correctly. Similarly Translators, Reviewers and Content Owners can provide feedback about the translations. All issue correspondence history is stored in-platform, allowing you to access it at any time. 

Issues are automatically assigned a unique, sequential account-wide Issue ID Number. Users may refer to the issue number for convenience.  Issue ID Numbers cannot be modified.

A single string can have multiple issues of any type. A string can have more than one source issue and more than one translation issue (in a specific language and across all languages).  Each issue's state is managed independently of the other issues.

Issues are a key tool to get your translations done quickly, and accurately. Smartling offers 3 ways in which you can find and manage issues:

Web dashboard

You can manage all aspects of the issue via the web dashboard's string details dialog. You can add comments, edit the issue description, add attachmentsresolve, re-open, add watchers, and mark the issue as answered

Within a Project or Job

The project summary and job summary pages will prominently show counts of open issues.  The strings list for both will have a UI indication for any string or translations that have an open issue. There are also filters for the strings list to focus on strings with issues.

Strings that have open issues will have prominent UI indication.  Whether you or looking at strings in the Projects or Jobs or if you are reviewing the Issues Report, when you open the string details dialog the Issues tab is used to manage issues.

NOTE: Depending on how you open the string details dialog you may see only source strings or only translation issues for one particular language.  If you don't see translation issues find the string or issue in that language, then open the string details dialog.

Across the entire Account (all Projects and Jobs)

To view all issues across all the projects in your account and easily find issues including those that have been resolved use the Issues Report.

Via Email

You can add comments, add attachments and resolve issues via email, except for watchers, who cannot close issues. Other aspects of the issue must be managed via the web dashboard.

Reply to the email to add a comment to the issue.

Your reply can include one image attachment (with or without a written comment). 

You can resolve issues via email replies. If your entire reply is just one of the following phrases, the issue will be resolved:

  • Close
  • Close issue
  • Resolve
  • Resolve issue
  • Resolved

If you include any other text in your reply it will be considered a comment.

Translation Issues and Translation Workflow Steps

If you have a question for a linguist, it's best to reject the translation with an issue, rather than just opening an issue. Rejecting translations opens an issue, but also moves the content back into the linguist's view. If you just open a translation issue it's possible the translators may not be able to act on it; depending on how your workflows are configured.

Closing Issues

Though all issue participants can close an issue, we recommend that the user that opened an issue is the one to close the issue once their question has been answered.

Issue Types & Subtypes


Source issues are about the source string itself.  Translators working in all languages see all source issues that have been opened on strings that are available for them to work on.

  • Question/Clarification: Question about the source content (e.g. what is a "Smart Inbox"). 
  • Typo/Misspelling: Mistake in the source content (i.e. were vs. where).


Translation issues are about a specific language's translation.  Translators working in the language of related to the issue translation issues for just the languages that they have been assigned to work on.

  • Review Translation: Translation requires rework.
  • Doesn't Fit Space: Best translation does not fit the space allotted in the asset design. 
  • Placeholder Issue: Placeholder balancing or ordering is incorrect.
  • Poor Translation: Translation does not meet tone, brand, or quality guidelines.

Custom Subtypes

Issue Subtypes can be customized for an account. Contact your Customer Success Manager to request custom subtypes. They are specific to either source or translation type.

Issue Visibility and Notifications

  Source String Issue Translation Issue
Agency Account Owner
  • Can view, update, and close.
  • Receives notifications for issues they opened or commented on.
  • Can view, update, and close if they have access to the relevant language.
  • Receives notifications for issues they opened or commented on.
Translation Resource / Translation Resource Manager
  • Can view, update, and close.
  • Receives notifications for issues they opened or commented on.
  • Can view, update, and close if they have access to the relevant language.
  • Receives notifications if they worked on the translation or if they opened or commented on the issue.
Account Owner /
Project Manager
  • Can view, update, and close.
  • Receives notifications for all issues.
  • Can view, update and close.
  • Receives notifications for issues they opened or commented on.

Any email address can be added as a watcher to receive notifications about an issue being opened, commented on, or closed.

Issue Assignment

Every issue can be assigned to a single user who is part of the account. Account Owners and Project Managers can change the assigned user in the String Details dialog which is accessible from the Issues Report or the Strings View pages. Any user of any role can be assigned. The user who opens an issue will be assigned to it automatically.

Some issues are "unassigned" because:

  • the issue was created before the assignment feature was added to the product.
  • the user who created the issues has been removed from the account.
  • the issue was created through some system automation action such as translation imports or external translation.

There are no notifications related to issue assignment. Issue assignment does not affect the visibility or editing permissions of issues. Issue assignment is a flexible feature. You can choose to actively use it to help communicate and improve your issue management workflows, or you can ignore the assignment if it doesn't provide value to your projects or your workflows.


Tips for Managing Issues

  • Account Owners and Project Managers should respond to source string issues as fast as possible. When Translators open source string issues, there is a good chance they are not able to proceed with translation or don’t feel confident in creating a translation because they need resolution of their question. Having a source string issue is also a strong indication that there might be a problem with how the string was captured. For example, placeholders might be incorrect. It’s possible the string shouldn’t be translated at all, or needs to be recaptured with updated integration.
  • At any time, Account Owners and Project Managers can view and manage all open issues for all their projects from the Account Dashboard.
  • Anyone can close an issue, but it is often good practice to let the person who opened an issue close it, to make sure they are satisfied with the resolution.
  • When closing a source string of type "Clarification", consider adding an instruction to the string with a full and clear explanation of the string; as well as adding or updating the "visual context" that is assigned to that string.
  • You can manage your e-mail notification preferences from the Project Notifications tab of your Smartling profile.
  • Account Owners and Project Managers can keep track of issues in the Issues Report.
  • We recommend that issues get resolved before the translation is published. We allow content to be published with open issues because most users don’t want to hold up their translation workflow, however, it’s good practice to resolve all issues so that the reports will accurately reflect your project’s current state. If needed, you can return translations for editing after they are published in order to address the issue. Alternatively, you can opt to use Smartling’s pre-publishing functionality, so you can begin using translations immediately, but wait to resolve all issues before they are officially published.

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