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Smartling Translation Solution

4.4 out of 5
Out of 41 user reviews.

Smartling helps ambitious brands access more markets, deliver better experiences, and build stronger relationships by transforming the way their content is created and consumed around the world. Our translation software and services prioritize process automation and intelligent collaboration so that companies can quickly and cost-effectively localize their websites, apps, and documents with minimal IT involvement. We help brands like British Airways, Spotify, IHG, and WeWork tell a global story.
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Software details

PriceFree for translators and agencies; clients pay based on content tiers
File formatsHTML, Java properties, XML, JSON, Android XML, iOS Strings, YAML, gettext, Microsoft Office, InDesign
License typeSoftware as a service (subscription)
System requirements
Operating systemWindows 95, 98, ME, NT & 2000, Windows Vista, Mac OS X 10.6 and higher, Windows 7, Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and higher, Mac OS X 10.4 and higher, Windows 8, Linux, Windows 2000, Mac OS 7, 8, 9, OSX 10.3.4 and higher , Windows XP
System requirementsSmartling is a cloud-based system that only requires access to the internet via a modern web browser. No desktop installation is needed.
CompatibilityCloud-based, and thus compatible with all systems
Support & upgrades
Support and upgrades offered/includedFree upgrades for duration of license/Subscription, Free technical support via support ticket center, Free community support
Support and tutorial linkshttps://help.smartling.com/docs
30 days
Free trial
No data
Languages supportedAll languages supported for translation. Translation interface available in English.

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(32 reviews)

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4 out of 5
How easy is it to learn?

Not recommended
Review by 
Cristian Sălăjan . I've been working with this tool for several months. It's easy to learn and pretty intuitive. But that's pretty much the positive part of the story.

I've found it to be very glitchy and buggy. Translation is a hassle every time and translation management - from interacting with PMs - doesn't appear to be a walk in the park either. Here's a few show killers:

1. In their current version (2014) they use a pop-up window that only displays one string at a time. Forget previous and following context. All of us working with CAT tools know how essential it is to be able to have an overview of more than the segment you're translating, for context. (Indeed, it often helps to have the graphic context displayed. Kudos for that).

2. TM is useless, because if a 100% match is found, the translation is not automatically propagated. What's the use of a TM then if you have to individually call up translations from TM?

3. They have this absolutely annoying shortcut - Alt+left (very close to control+down which saves current and moves you to the next segment) that closes the pop-up without saving any of the progress. I once translated a segment that was a few hundred words strong and mistakenly hit Alt+left - everything was permanently lost and had to retranslate. I almost forgot the dozens of other incidents with other smaller strings - but this really made be angry.

4. Productivity:
=> even after several months of using the tool, my productivity is probably at 60-70% of normal daily output - I've consistently measured it over time. Moving in the pop-up window from one segment to another takes about 2-3 seconds. Multiply that by 1000 strings and you've lost 50 minutes waiting for the app to do its thing.
=> Furthermore, when reviewing, you can review "inline" having several segments display at a time on your screen (like you would have in Trados), but in order to edit any segment, you need to open the pop-up - another 3 seconds. Finish editing, manually hit save button, then close the pop-up to continue reviewing - another 5 seconds. Multiply by number of lines and...
=> your translated content appears in your dashboard in organized in groups - dozens of them many times. When you deliver your translated content you have to hit Submit on every single group individually. Depending on number of groups and speed of internet connection that can eat up your coffee brake.

Honestly, there are several other down sides that I can think of, but I guess my point is made. I have no intention to denigrate anyone's business, but smartling is not as smart as we would like it to be. It is the poorest CAT tool I've used so far, and my impression is that the IT company developing it lack an experienced translator in their team - someone who knows a thing or two about CAT tools, translation workflow and productivity.

Later edit, changing review from „not recommended” to „recommended”:
- the more pressing issues have been addressed and support team provided relevant guidance.

31 out of 35 found this review helpful.

1 out of 5
How easy is it to learn?

WORST translation tool ever
Review by 
cclavel . To all free-lancers, run away while you can !!!!
This is a total rip-off for us.

Paiement of a project is based on degressive pricing (like Trados) BUT you only get the wordcount analysis AFTER you're done with the translation.

In the meantime :

1) the client can add and remove text while you're working on the project. That also includes text that you have translated. Since the wordcount is only provided afterwards, that means :


2) The TM does not get updated as you go. Which means you have to retype any text that's not already in it. Therefore, if you have a sentence that's almost identical to a sentence you previously translated, you need to retype it entirely.

But remember, you get the analysis afterwards !

That is, after you have submitted your work and they have updated the TM !

So at that point, they will tell you that it's a strong match and they won't pay you much for it, ALTHOUGH IT WAS NOT A MATCH WHEN YOU WERE TRANSLATING.

So, to sum up : as translators, we need to refuse to work on this platform, which is a total rip-off !

And we need to pass the word around, so that all translators know they are actually working for free when they use it !!!

If we give them enough bad publicity and refuse to use this tool, they will have to change it !!!
11 out of 11 found this review helpful.

2 out of 5
How easy is it to learn?

Slowest tool I have ever used
Review by 
Paul Hambling . Whilst it is intuitive and easy to use. It is slow, clumsy and does not recognise matches very well. It will only recognise them once a string has been opened (which takes a long time) and then each string must be individually opened to be autocompleted and clicking through several hundred strings can take some serious time. If you do a lot of repetitive work it is not good at all. There is also no mass find and replace feature which when I do proof reading would be massively helpful. All in all it has nothing more established tools have that really makes the art of translation easier.
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

2 out of 5
How easy is it to learn?

Review by 
Sanja_FR . Another online platform which brings absolutely nothing new, is tedious to use and time-consuming. How many useless clicks and copy-pasting must we endure with these online platforms? I suspect it's good for the productivity of PMs, but for linguists, absolutely not. Expect a decrease of around 30% of the productivity for a linguist, and apply a matching premium if you can.
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

5 out of 5
How easy is it to learn?

Unbeatable approach to website and online translation
Review by 
Idea Translations . The Smartling Translation Management System is an unbeatable approach to website and online apps translation. Translators are able to complete translations online and within context.

The biggest challenge we faced when translating websites in the past was to get the context right when we had to deal with a bunch of strings. Smartling has found a solution to this problem as translators actually get a visual of what they’re translating which makes them less likely to fall into context errors. Additionally, Smartling has a TM leverage for consistency like any other CAT tool.

Altogether, it helps improve quality and consistency thanks to the “in context” approach and the TM leverage and it’s so easy to use that we can teach our translators to use in no time even if they’ve never used a CAT tool. I recommend this tool for anyone attempting to translate a website or a mobile app.
4 out of 9 found this review helpful.

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