Your content comes in many shapes and sizes, in a variety of different forms and file types. Each file type has a specific purpose, whether it's a simple Word doc or the HTML file in your website. Files are everywhere and everything when it comes to getting your message to your audience, and translating them expands that reach on a global scale.
In Smartling, a file can be considered a container of content.
Smartling supports a range of different file types, which can be uploaded manually by a user on your account, or automatically ingested via an API or Connector integration.
In any case, before the source file gets to Smartling, you should take some time to prepare the file accordingly, to ensure your content is ingested and parsed correctly. If you don't prepare files before sending them to Smartling, typically all content in that file will be uploaded for translation, whether it's metadata or translatable text.
"Source file" refers to the original file your source content is in. It is the file that is prepared and sent to Smartling for translation. Once translation is complete, you will have a translated version of the source file.
"Ingested" refers to the content entering Smartling for translation.
"Parsed" refers to the syntactic breakdown of the content into strings.
"Strings" are the basic unit of translation.
If files are not prepared correctly, this will inevitably have a significant impact on the cost of the translations (in both the initial translations costs, any re-translation costs, and future translation memory leverage cost-savings). Not to mention, the impact on time to get the translations as you need them.
Types of Files
The method in which the file should be prepared, depends on the file type. The file types supported by Smartling can be divided into two categories:
- Business Files
- Resource Files
These are business documents, typically Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Business files can be prepared with styling.
"Styling" or "styles" are Microsoft's built-in formatting characteristics that you can apply to text to quickly change its appearance. Styles that are custom to Smartling will direct the parser on how the file should be treated in Smartling.
For more information on how business documents are parsed and prepared, read Translating Microsoft Office Documents and our documentation on PDF files.
A resource file is a file typically structured in key-value pairs, such as JSON, YAML, XML, etc. Resource files can be prepared with directives.
A directive is a special instruction within the file that tells Smartling how to handle certain elements within the file. Each file supports a range of directives applicable to the file type.
For more information on resource files and their supported directives, read the documentation for the specific file type.
Methods of uploading files to Smartling
There are two methods in which you can upload files to Smartling:
Any Content Owner user can upload any supported file type to Smartling for translation. Account Owner and Project Manager users have access to the Files tab, where any file that is uploaded to Smartling can be accessed. Alternatively, Account Owner, Project Manager, and Requester users can upload a file when creating a Job via the Request Translation portal.
There is a range of options to automatically send files to Smartling for translation. It really depends on where your source files are stored.
If you store your source files in Google Drive, the Google Drive Connector is available to sync those files with Smartling, so you can automatically send them for translation.
If your files are stored in a code repository, there are a couple of options for automation of source repositories.
Alternatively, if your files are stored in a Content Management System, or eCommerce platform, there is a range of pre-built Connector and Plugin integrations available.
Finally, you can automate sending files from any software by using Smartling's APIs.
Methods of downloading files from Smartling
Similarly to uploading files to Smartling, translated files can be downloaded either manually or automatically.
Manual file download can be achieved in the Smartling dashboard, either in the Files tab of the project, or the files tab of the Job Details.
If you have integrated with a Smartling Connector, translations are automatically delivered to the connecting application as soon as they are complete. You can always export the translations via the Asset Details in the Connector tab.
For more information on steps to manually export translations from Smartling, consult the relevant Connector documentation.