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Working with LSPs

Working with a translation agency (LSP) is often the best option when translating customer-facing content. If you’re planning to work with professional translation agency, this guide is for you. Through it, you’ll learn how to:

  • Invite your agency to Transifex
  • Import your Glossary and TM
  • Provide context to translators
  • Translate and review content
  • Answering questions from translators
  • See translation activity
  • Notifying translators of new content

Let’s jump in!

Inviting your agency to Transifex

To kick things off, you need to invite people from your agency to your organization in Transifex. There are 6 user roles in Transifex, each with a different set of permissions. We recommend inviting a project manager from your LSP as a Team Manager to start. This way, they’ll be able to add Translators and Reviewers to a translation team. However, Team Managers won’t have be able to change any project settings

Tip

In Transifex, you can assign multiple projects to a single team. If you only work with one translation agency, we suggest only having one team. This lets you reuse one team for all your projects.

Importing your Translation Memory & Glossary

If you already have a Translation Memory (TM) or Glossary, you can import them to Transifex. This way, you can reuse work that’s already done. Check out these articles to get started with setting up your TM and Glossary: 

Providing context to translators

Context helps your translators understand what they're translating, whether that's the meaning of a specific word or phrase, or the high-level "what" it is that they're working on. By providing context to translators, you can prevent mistranslations (nobody wants those!). Here are a few ways to provide context to translators:

  • Give them access to your app or website. And maybe even host a 15-minute run-through of your product. It’s always helpful to see at a high level what something is about.
  • Depending on the file format used, developers can add notes to a string and explain how it’s used. Gettext, for example, is one of many of the file formats that support developer comments.
  • Sometimes, you’ll need translated text to fit into a limited space. By setting character limits, you can cap the length of a translation.
  • If you’re translating a website, Transifex Live lets you translate in a WYSIWYG editor.
  • Create a translation style guide that explains your brand, audience, syntax standards, etc. If you don't have a style guide yet, your LSP will often be able to work with you to create one.

Translating and reviewing content

Transifex provides translators with two different translation environments to work in. One is for file-based content, and another (Transifex Live) for websites. In both, you or your translators can translate and review strings. Once a string is marked as reviewed, it means it’s ready to be used. Translators cannot make any more edits to that translation. 

The following articles cover how to use each of the translation environments:

Tip

Some agencies prefer to work offline in their own tools. Other agencies are open to working with any tool, including cloud-based ones. When choosing an agency to work with, ask if they have a preference. 

Workflows

Tags in the Editor give you a flexible way to group strings and create workflows. Here are number of (creative) ways to use them:

  • Tag strings by translator username and assign a set of strings to a translator
  • Tag strings by urgency: high, medium, low
  • Tag strings by release date
  • Tag strings that need a second round of review

Similarly, you can categorize and prioritize resources.

Answering questions from translators

As translations happen, your translators will run into questions. For example, what a particular string means. We recommend handling these questions through the Comments function in the Editor instead of email. Comments let you have string-level conversations with your translators. And everyone involved in the project will be able to see the comments. This way, you don’t ever have to answer the same question twice.

Note

To find all strings that have a comment, select the Comment filter in the Editor, then type *, and hit Enter. If you want a specific person to be notified of a comment, be sure to @mention them in your comment.

Seeing translation activity

The Dashboard and Reports help you stay on top of what’s happening.

Dashboard

At a high level, the Dashboard let you know:

  • Which languages are ready to be used
  • Which languages are incomplete
  • Open issues with strings in the editor 

Reports 

Agencies usually charge based on the number of translated words. If you’re on the Advanced plan or higher, Reports can help you calculate how much to pay. In Reports, filter for the projects and date range you’re interested in. Then export the Report as a CSV file and open it up in a spreadsheet software such as Excel. Add in your negotiated per-word rates to calculate the rate.

Tip

Some agencies charge a different rate for words with a TM match. In your Report, you’ll see translated words broken down by different TM match percentages.

Notifying translators of new content

If you’re building an app, you likely have a constant flow of content that needs to be translated. Instead of emailing translators each time you push new content to Transifex, have them watch projects they’re working on. This way, they’ll automatically receive email notifications whenever there is new content to translate. (To watch a project, first select a project from the Dashboard. Then click the Watch icon above the Translate or Live button.)

Continuous localization

Some of our customers have regular deployment schedules for their apps. In such cases, they might agree to a specific translation cadence with their vendors. So if they deploy on Mondays and Thursdays, they’d have their translators check for new content in Transifex on Fridays and Tuesdays. By having such an agreement in place, new content is always translated and there’s no need for the customer to contact the agency constantly.