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After securing $25 million in venture funding back in May, Smartling raised more than a few eyebrows in the translation industry, especially after securing partnerships with well-known companies like Spotify, British Airways, SurveyMonkey and Tesla. In this blog series we’ll take a look at what the various Smartling tools can do and how they can aid in the translation and localization process.
According to Nataly Kelly, VP of Marketing at Smartling, the company defines itself as a “translation software platform.” If you’re a buyer of translations, what this means is essentially you’ll have a single point of contact for your translation projects: Smartling.com. The Smartling interface will be your portal for translation management, the interface for translators to deliver projects and even your vehicle for content delivery (especially if your project includes website localization).
Let’s be clear here: Smartling is not machine translation or crowdsourced translation. While there’s certainly a use for these types of translation, even inside of the Smartling platform, the tool is really designed as an enterprise platform that complies with professional translation standards. This means that it relies on translators and language service providers to build glossaries and translation memories and reinforces the translator/editor/reviewer model that has become the industry standard.
Smartling’s Translation Management offering is not unlike other cloud-based CAT tools. You’ll find glossaries/termbases, translation memory and integrated quality assurance, all of which can be managed via their website. While there are certainly other tools on the market that can do this, Smartling prides itself as a “vendor agnostic” solution where the client can continue to work on the Smartling platform and maintain their own translation memory and glossaries and freely switch between language service providers and translators. Other CAT tools typically are either aimed at language service providers or require significant investment for an accompanying server product or service.
Some other features that separate Smartling include its innovative content collection and workflow management features. If your website is on a CMS platform like Adobe’s CQ5, Drupal or Sitecore, the Smartling API can directly connect to your site and detect changes made to individual pages on the site. This eliminates the need to separate out content into batches and new content is pushed directly into the appropriate phase of translation on demand.
The workflow management feature can allow you to automate workflows based on the criteria of your choosing. For example, specific languages can go to separate translation providers or certain documents can be pushed for in-country reviews or legal review. Again, this can all be automated so that when one step of the translation process is complete, it automatically is moved to the next step of the process.
Up Next: In part 2 we’ll look at Smartling’s Global Delivery Network tool and what types of projects are a good fit for the Smartling platform.
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