Glossary & Style Guide


A Blocklist is a list of terms that should never be included in your translated content. When creating a Glossary of important or frequently used terms, you should also create a Blocklist of forbidden or never-to-be-used terms. 

When the Blocklist Quality Check is enabled, the terms included in a Blocklist are flagged in the CAT Tool, and are blocked from being used in translations.

You might have a number of translated terms that can not or should not be used in certain territories or markets. Your Legal department may also have a list of banned terms. The Blocklist feature ensures these terms will not be included in your translated content, by flagging the term as blocklisted in the CAT Tool and preventing the translators from submitting the term.

A blocklisted term is blocklisted per target language, so the Blocklist term should be the translated term and associate target language. It is important to include all variations of the blocklisted term in your Blocklist, including plurals, gender variations (if applicable), etc.

This article explores:

Accessing the Blocklist

Account Owners and Project Managers can access the Blocklist by navigating to;

Account Settings > Linguists Assets > Blocklists

This enters the Blocklist list page, where you can create and manage your Blocklists

Creating a Blocklist

To create a Blocklist, enter the Blocklist list page, and click Create Blocklist


This opens the Blocklist dialog, where you must give the Blocklist a name and associate it with at least one Glossary.


When that's done, click Create


Adding Terms to a Blocklist

Now that we have a Blocklist, it's time to add the terms to it. There are two ways you can add terms to the Blocklist:

  1. Individually within Smartling
  2. Creating a Blocklist locally 

Adding Individual Terms to a Blocklist

  • Click the Blocklist name to enter it
  • Click Create Term


This opens the Blocklist Term dialog, where you should complete the following:

  • Under Term, insert the blocklisted term
  • If this is case-sensitive, and should only be blocked as it is displayed, select the Case Sensitive checkbox
  • Under Languages, choose which target languages this should apply to
    • The default is all supported languages, as an extra precaution to prevent the term from being used in any translation.
  • To give linguists a better understanding as to why this term is blocked, provide and Note / Reason
  • If there are variations of the term that should also be blocked, such as plurals or gender variations, insert them into Term Variations
    • You can add multiple Term Variations by clicking the + icon
  • If you have a preferred term that linguists could use instead of the blocked term, insert them into Preferred Variations
    • You can add multiple Preferred Variations by clicking the + icon
  • Click Create


Once terms have been added to the Blocklist, you can edit or archive them by clicking the ellipses


Adding Multiple Terms to a Blocklist - Export / Import

If you preferred to work on a Blocklist offline, you can export the Blocklist and then re-import it to Smartling. 

If your Blocklist is new and empty, it is recommended to Export a Blocklist Template first, so that your Blocklist can follow the correct format needed for a successful import. Navigate to;

Account Settings > Linguists Assets > Glossaries > Manage Blocklists > ellipses > Export Blocklist Template.

Choose to download an Excel or CSV file template, build out your Blocklist locally and import it back to Smartling. 

Click here to download a Blocklist Template with tips on what to insert under each column.

Enabling Blocklist Quality Checks

The final step in ensuring all blocklisted terms are flagged and blocked in the CAT Tool, is to enable Blocklist Quality Checks.

From the Blocklist list page, click Quality Checks.


Alternatively, Account Owners and Project Managers can access Quality Checks by navigating to;

  1. Account Settings > Linguists Assets > Quality Checks
  2. Click the Quality Check Profile used in the Project
  3. Scroll down to Blocklisted Terms
  4. Choose High-Severity level from the severity dropdown. This will ensure the Blocklist term will not be submitted in your translated content.


Viewing Blocklist Terms in the CAT Tool

When the linguist enters the blocklisted term in the CAT tool and when the Quality Check for Blocklist terms is set, the Quality Checks will display the blocklisted term, along with a preferred alternative. Depending on your Quality Checks settings, the linguists may or may not be able to submit the translation with the Blocklist term.


Managing the Blocklist

Updating Details

Once you have created a Blocklist, you can update the name, description, and associated glossaries at any time by clicking the ellipses beside the Blocklist name. Navigate to;

Account Settings > Linguists Assets > Glossaries > Manage Blocklists > ellipses > Edit Details


Bulk-Add or Update Terms

If you want to add new terms to the Blocklist or update any existing terms in bulk, you can do so by exporting and Excel or CSV file of the Blocklist, add or update terms locally, and re-import the updated Blocklist.

To export a Blocklist, navigate to;

Account Settings > Linguists Assets > Glossaries > Manage Blocklists > ellipses > Export Blocklist


If you have created a Blocklist locally, or updated an existing Blocklist locally, and you're ready to upload the file of terms to Smartling, you can so do by importing them to a pre-created Blocklist. 

To import a Blocklist, navigate to;

Account Settings > Linguists Assets > Glossaries > Manage Blocklists > ellipses > Import Blocklist

Once imported, a success message will appear, confirming the number of terms added to the Blocklist.

Troubleshooting Imports

Ensure your Blocklist file contains the same header information, in the same order, as seen in the Blocklist Template. In other words, do not modify the template header.

Ensure your term locales are supported by Smartling and are inserted in the same format as seen under Locale ID column here.

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