Managing the Translation Process

Using Issues

When Linguists ask a question about a Job, they open an Issue.

Issues allow platform users to communicate about original source content or translations directly in the Smartling platform.

Ensure your Global Notification Preferences are enabled to receive Issue notifications.

There are two types of Issues; Source Issues, and Translation Issues. A Translator might create a Source Issue to ask a question about terminology in a particular string. Similarly, a Project Manager might create a Translation Issue to ask a question about translation in a particular string.

Getting answers to questions about content helps the translation process move quickly and effectively. Similarly, providing feedback about translations can ensure consistency. 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.

This article will guide you through:

Accessing 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;

The Dashboard Screenshot_2020-10-13_at_16.49.03.png

There are a number of places to access and manage Issues in the Dashboard. Typically, the red flag icon will be visible as a quick-link to access and manage Issues. The number indicates the number of open Issues.

Issues Report

Account Owner and Project Manager users can access the Issues Report on the top-panel beside your Account Name. The Issues Report contains a list of all Issues across all Jobs the user has access to. Use the filter and search panel on the left to find specific Issues.

Using the multi-select and Actions function, you can select Issues to mass-close. Select-all and Actions will allow you to or Export a CSV file of all Issue details. This report can be useful for finding common questions related to your content, or common revisions needed for your translations.

Jobs Dashboard

If the red flag icon is visible under a Job name on the Jobs Dashboard, this means that there are open Issues on that Job. Click the red flag to quickly access and address the Issue.

Job Details

When you are in the Job, you will see the number of open Issues on the left-hand panel under Job Summary in the Job Details page. Click the number to quickly access and address the Issue.

Strings View

When you are in the String View, you will see if a string has an open Issue by the "Unresolved Issues" flag under the source sting. Click Unresolved Issues to quickly access and address the Issue.

You can also access the Issue by clicking the 3 dots Actions > View String Details/Issues


This will open the String Details, where you can manage all aspects of the Issue. You can add comments, edit the issue description, add attachments, resolve, re-open, add watchers, and mark the issue as answered. 



Depending on how you open the string details, 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.


Issue notifications are delivered by 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.

Issue Types & Subtypes


Source issues are directed at the source string itself.  Account Owners and Project Managers are notified of all source issues. Translation Resource users will see any source issues opened on content they are working on.

Source Issue Subtypes

  • 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 comments, questions or queries in relation to the translation submitted for a source string. In order for an email notification to be sent to the linguist who translated the string, the user opening the issue must do so by rejecting the translation. However, slack notifications will be sent regardless if the string is rejected. Account Owner and Project Manager users can reject a string in the Strings View Actions or, like Agency Account Owner, Translation Resource Managers and Translation Resource users, by clicking X on a string from within the CAT Tool or Review Mode

Translation issues are locale-specific, meaning only the Translation Resource user working on a locale for that string, will receive a notification, by default. Any other user may receive a notification on translation issues after they participate in the issue (open an issue /comment on an issue). A translation issue can be opened without moving the string back a step - ie a reviewer can open a translation issue on a translation without rejecting the string. However, it is important to note that a notification will not be sent if the string is not accessible to the user who needs to revise the translation.

If the workflow is configured to allow users to reject content to another step (e.g., the review step), then the translation issue created when rejecting a string will be sent to the user who submitted the string on that specific step (e.g., the reviewer).

Ensure reject settings are enabled in your workflow configurations.

Translation Issue Subtypes:

  • Review Translation: Translation requires revision.
  • Doesn't Fit Space: The translation does not fit the space allotted in the asset design. You can then apply a character limit to the string for further guidance.
  • 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. They are specific to either source or translation issue types. For more information, read Custom Issue Subtypes.

Changing Issues Types and Subtypes

If for any reason you need to update the issue type and subtype, you can do so by:

  • Going to the Issues Report or String Details
  • Open an Issue Details by clicking the Issues tab
  • Click the hyperlinked type and subtype name (captured below)
  • Choose the new type and/or subtype name from the dropdown
    • Changing an Issue from Source to Translation requires a selection of a specific target language. You can choose from any target language in the Job that already has a saved translation for that source string.
  • Click Confirm to save changes


It is important to note that changing Issue types and subtypes does not clear any history regarding users associated with that issue. This means that any change will still trigger a notification to the relevant users (including the first user to open the issue).

Issue Visibility and Notifications

Any user who opens or comments on the issues will be notified of subsequent comments and if the issue is closed, even if the translations are published.

All Source Issues are sent to Account Owners and Project Managers (from the project that the Job is in)
All Translation Issues are sent to the translator who translated the string.

 Smartling User Role Source Issue Translation Issue
Account Owner /
Project Manager
  • Can view, update, and close.
  • Receives notifications for all source issues.
  • Can view, update, and close.
  • Receives notifications for translation issues they participate in the issue (open/comment).
  • Can view, update, and close.
  • Receives source issue notifications only if they participate in the issue (open/comment).

  • Can view, update, and close.
  • Receives notifications for translation issues they participate in the issue (open/comment).

Agency Account Owner
  • Can view, update, and close.
  • Receives source issue notifications only if they participate in the issue (open/comment).
  • Can view, update, and close if they have access to the relevant language.
  • Receives translation issue notifications only if they participate in the issue (open/comment).
Translation Resource / Translation Resource Manager
  • Can view, update, and close.
  • Receives source issue notifications only if they participate in the issue (open/comment).
  • Can view, update, and close if they have access to the relevant language.
  • Receives notifications if they worked on the translation or if they participate in the translation issue (open/comment).


Watchers receive notifications about an issue thread being opened, commented on, or closed. Watchers are added by Account Owners, Project Managers, or Agency Account Owner users. A watcher does not have to be a Smartling user - any email address can be added as a watcher of an issue.

A watcher can add comments and add attachments to issues via email. Other aspects of the issue must be managed via the web dashboard.

Account Owner, Project Manager, or Agency Account Owner users can also remove any watcher from the list, regardless of which user added the watcher to the list.

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 issue 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

Ensure Notifications are Enabled

You can manage your e-mail notification preferences from the Project Notifications tab of your Smartling profile.

Respond ASAP

All users should respond to issues as fast as possible. When Translators open a source string issue, there is a good chance they cannot 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. Requesters can view and manage Issues on their Jobs from their dashboard.

Account Owners and Project Managers can keep track of issues in the Issues Report.

Closing Issues

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, or upload visual context for further clarification.

Smartling recommends that issues are resolved before the translation is published. We allow content to be published with open issues because most users want to avoid delays in their translation workflow; however, its 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 to address the issue.

Alternatively, you can opt to use Smartling’s prepublishing functionality, so you can begin using translations immediately, but wait to resolve all issues before they are officially published.

Set Up Quality Checks for Open Issues

You can enable quality checks for strings with open translation and/or source issues. This can be used to prevent strings with open issues from progressing through the workflow, so that only translations with no open questions are saved to the TM, or published. 

Supporting Tools

Smartling has a range of supporting tools which can also further assist in providing guidance to translators which can be used as part of your translation strategy to reduce revision time; 

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