Managing the Translation Process

Export & Import Jobs for Offline Translation

This feature is available for all Account Owners and Project Managers via the Jobs Dashboard (Enterprise only).

Occasionally, you may want to send a Job that's in progress in Smartling to a translator for offline translation. This feature allows you to export content with linguistic assets and easily import the completed translations back into your Smartling account.

Important Considerations for Exporting/Importing Jobs

The following are important considerations when using exporting and importing content off the Smartling platform:

Loss of transparency

As a Content Owner, you can no longer track the progress of the content in the translation workflow, and have no insight as to how many resources are translating your content, or how your content is being translated offline.

Loss of data

In addition to loss of transparency in a Job's progress, all data gathered in Smartling reports do not apply to offline translations. This means you have no insight into translation velocity, and changes will not have the data needed to evaluate how long it took for the content to be translated, edited, and how many changes were made by editors.

Loss of context

Translators lose the ability to get the contextual view provided by Visual Context in the CAT Tool, which is key for ensuring they are translating the content under the right context. It is also a vital feature for you to minimize questions around what the content is about, issues with bad translations, and time spent in QA once the content is published.

Loss of direction

If you have applied character limits to strings, this direction will be lost in the exported Job. Because the limits are lost in the exported file, they are not present in the imported file either, meaning strings exceeding character limits can be imported and submitted to the next step in the workflow.

Furthermore, if a linguist has a question about the source content, you won't be able to give them direction by Smartling's Issue feature. Of course, you can take your conversation offline, but you lose the ease of threaded dialog directly associated with a string.

Loss of leverage

Although a TMX file of your Translation Memory can also be exported for offline work, your leverage configuration and SmartMatch settings will no longer apply, resulting in the Job taking longer to complete and costing more money.

Loss of quality checks

Your Quality Check Profile that you have carefully configured to suit your translation requirements will not assess translations offline. Furthermore, when translations are imported, they can be submitted to the next step in the workflow, regardless if they flag an error, even if it is set to high severity. This results in any poor offline translations being saved to your Translation Memory.

Translation Memory integrity risks

As imported translations are completed without your Quality Checks, without context or direction, and can be saved immediately after import, your Translation Memory is exposed to contamination of poor translations. Imported translations can even be in a different language than the target language requested in the Job. The process to remedy this error in your TM is painstakingly long and time-consuming.

Markup and code integrity risks

When working online in Smartling, we ensure that all your underlying code and markup is protected. Translators cannot alter it, since we protect it by masking it. When you export the content under a flat file (.xliff) all code is visible, and can be altered by anyone with access to the file. This can result in broken code and functionality, leading to more developer time spent on QA and resolving any issues that might come up because of changed code.

Time & cost

The above list of important factors when translating offline, ultimately results in your translations taking longer, neglecting quality, possibly spoiling your translation memory and target codebase. Resolving these issues takes even more time and, ultimately, increases the cost for the Job.

We recommended proceeding with caution with offline Jobs.


  • This article is for Account Owner and Project Manager users only
  • Assignment and offline translation must be enabled for the translation step the job is in.
    • Go to the Project settings > Workflows > Manage Step > Enable assignment and allow offline work
  • The Job must be authorized and in progress - not awaiting authorization or published.

How to Export Content

  • From the Jobs Dashboard (account-level or project-level), locate the Job you want to export and click the ellipses (3 dots)
  • Select Export Content
  • Choose from all languages and workflow steps that are available for offline translation
  • Select the files you want to export;
    • Context (XLIFF)
    • Glossary (TBX)
    • Translation Memory (TMX)
    • You can select any combination of files for export. Exporting multiple files with multiple Translation Memory Files might take up to 2 minutes to export.
  • Click Export.
    • For larger files, a notifier will inform you that you will receive an email to your username email address, with a download link for the exported file.
    • Exported content will be found in your local drive under Downloads.

Example Files


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<xliff version="1.2" xmlns="urn:oasis:names:tc:xliff:document:1.2"
xsi:schemaLocation="urn:oasis:names:tc:xliff:document:1.2 xliff-core-1.2-strict.xsd">
<file original="smartling_offline_cat_data.xliff" source-language="en-US" target-language="de-DE" datatype="plaintext">
<trans-unit id="cf2c8a76485f273cbc59b2c9b73d9522" resname="">
<source>Job for Documentation</source>
<seg-source><mrk mtype="seg" mid="1">Job for Documentation</mrk></seg-source>


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE tmx SYSTEM "tmx14.dtd">
<tmx version="1.4">
<header creationtool="Smartling" creationtoolversion="1.1" srclang="en-US" datatype="xml" segtype="block" adminlang="en-US" o-tmf="Smartling" />


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><!DOCTYPE martif SYSTEM "TBXcoreStructV02.dtd">
<martif type="TBX" xml:lang="en"><martifHeader><fileDesc><sourceDesc><p>Smartling's TBX glossary export for Example Glossary</p></sourceDesc></fileDesc><encodingDesc><p type="XCSURI"></p></encodingDesc></martifHeader><text><body><termEntry><langSet xml:lang="en"><tig><term>Example Term</term><termNote type="createdBy">Rachel Carey</termNote><termNote type="lastModifiedBy">Rachel Carey</termNote><termNote type="Example Custom Field">Custom Field for Source metadata</termNote><descrip type="Definition">This is an example glossary term definition</descrip></tig></langSet></termEntry><termEntry><langSet xml:lang="en"><tig><term>Test string</term><termNote type="createdBy">Rachel Carey</termNote><termNote type="lastModifiedBy">Rachel Carey</termNote><descrip type="Definition">Glossary definition of test string</descrip></tig></langSet></termEntry></body></text></martif>

How to Import Content

  • From the project-level Jobs Dashboard, locate the Job that you want to import translations to, and click the ellipses (3 dots).
  • Select Import Content
  • Select or drag and drop the .xliff files that you want to import to the Job
    • Only .xliff files are supported for content import.
  • Choose from one of the import options:
    1. Save and remain in the current step: keeps the content you are importing in the current workflow step.
    2. Save and submit to next step: automatically pushes all content you are importing to the next workflow step. 
      • Either option results in the translations being immediately saved to your Translation Memory
  • Click Import

When import commences, you will see which files have imported successfully (green checkmarks), and which files have failed to upload (listed in red).

From the Strings View, you can view imported content. If any individual strings have failed to import, the target translation will be blank. The most common reasons for a failed string import are that tags used in the offline translation are not supported in Smartling for the specific file type.

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