This article is a high-level overview to introduce you to the GDN and how it works.
Smartling’s Global Delivery Network (GDN) is a translation proxy that enables you to localize your website in a highly automated way.
A translation proxy is a layer between your website and your end users. It is an intermediary that forwards requests from the browser to a web server and responses back to the browser. Essentially, it is a living, localized mirror of your website, so end users can view your website in their native language. You could think of the GDN similarly to an image filter on a photograph. The photograph (your source website) changes when a filter (a localized domain) is selected from any of the filter options (a language selector).
The GDN eliminates the need to internationalize your website or host translations.
How your website is translated with the GDN
There are three stages to translating your website with the GDN:
- Configure the GDN to recognize which content should be translated.
- Capture content for translation by browsing web pages.
- Translate content in Smartling.
Note: It is important to note that the concept of each stage must be understood, and the process repeated each time your website structure or content changes. For more information, read our documentation on Maintaining Your Translated Website.
Stage 1: Configure the GDN to Recognize Content for Translation
In this stage, you work with Smartling Professional Services along with your IT Ops and web development teams to set up the GDN on your network and website. The goal is to configure the GDN to identify which content on your website needs to be translated.
This stage involves testing and implementing a custom configuration to ensure the GDN captures the correct content for translation. Once that is complete, and your GDN project is live, it’s ready to send your content to Smartling for translation.
Stage 2: Capture Content for Translation
If you’re already familiar with translating content in Smartling, you’ll know that content is ingested either manually by file upload, or automatically by an API or Connector integration.
With the GDN, however, content is captured and sent to Smartling when a user or bot accesses your localized website and browses the page. The configuration of the GDN ensures that translatable text on any page that is browsed is automatically sent to your GDN project in Smartling. You can rely on organic end user and bot traffic to capture content, or integrate the GDN Crawler to browse through the pages of your website.
Stage 3: Translate Content in Smartling
Your web page content is captured by Smartling where it is translated by a human or machine (or both!) in a translation Job. The translation Job typically consists of multiple workflow steps (translation tasks). When the Job is authorized, translators assigned to each task can access your content in the CAT Tool. Your website is automatically visible to translators in the CAT Tool. When the translations reach the published step of the workflow, they automatically display on your localized page.
As a translation is saved as it moves through the workflow, it is stored in the translation memory (TM). The TM acts as a live repository of your translated segments. This repository eliminates the cost of hosting and managing translations, by allowing the automated retrieval of previous translations. As a result, the translated content seamlessly populates your localized domains every time they are accessed, ensuring consistent and up-to-date language representation.
Tip: For more information, read our documentation on How to Translate Your Website.
How to manage changes to your website
When the source content on a page changes, the pages must be browsed again to send the updated content to Smartling for translation. Only new or modified content is captured for translation, while unchanged source content isn't recaptured or sent to your GDN project. Until the translations are published or prepublished in Smartling, the updated web pages will display a mix of translated and untranslated text on the localized page. This is known as 'source bleed through'.
When your website’s experience or technology changes, the GDN must be reconfigured to adapt to the updates. Overlooking your GDN configuration during any website or infrastructure change may also result in bleed through.
Tip: For more information to ensure the end user does not experience your website as a mix of translated and untranslated text, read our documentation on Maintaining your Translated Website.
To translate your website with the GDN:
- Configure the GDN
- Work with your Customer Success Manager and Smartling Professional Services to set up and maintain your GDN project in Smartling
- Work with Smartling Professional Services and your IT team to set up your network configuration and website
- Capture Content
- Authorize content for translation in a Job
- When translations reach the published step and your end user visits the localized site, the GDN displays the translated content.
- Authorize content for translation in a Job
Tip: Repeat the process each time your web content is updated and each time your website changes (redesign, networking etc.). For more information, read our documentation on Maintaining Your Translated Website.
The People Involved
It’s important to understand that integrating with the GDN is a team effort, from the beginning and throughout your website’s evolution. Your Smartling Global Delivery Network includes your Customer Success Manager and Smartling Professional Services.
With the GDN, you'll have your Smartling Customer Success Manager guiding your localization strategy, while Smartling’s Professional Services team becomes an integral part of your web development and IT operations team. Together, they handle all technical aspects of your localized digital presence from implementation and throughout your website’s evolution.
The people involved in your translated website include:
- Your content team (localization, marketing)
- Your web developers (including external vendors/web agencies)
- Your IT Ops team (including external vendors/CDNs)
- Your Smartling Customer Success Manager
- Your Solutions Architect (Smartling Professional Services)
- Your Translation vendor (e.g. Smartling Language Services)