Organizing your data properly is a key step to best leverage you linguistic resources. Otherwise you can easily end up with redundant information, or unable to find the most relevant resource for your current project. Here’s how Smartcat helps you avoid that pitfall.
Every linguistic resource on Smartcat can be categorized in two dimensions: Clients and Project groups.
Smartcat lets you define a client label to categorize your linguistic resources and streamline your process.
To do this, go to Settings → Client Management (If you don’t see this option, please contact support to activate it in your account). A new page opens with the list of clients and the option to add new ones.
Note: Clients with the Connected translation symbol (multicolor infinite loop) are created automatically by your connectors.
To create a new client, click Add Client. The following page will be displayed:
The only required field is the client name. For now, you can leave the other fields blank. You can come back later and update the information. Click on Save. Now, wherever you create a new project and choose this client, Smartcat will automatically enable all the resources associated with it for this project.
Note that every translation resource can be associated with one client only.
Project groups allow an additional dimension to categorize your data. For example, you can use them to distinguish between types of texts where terminology and style requirements vary:
Or you can use them to reflect your internal organization:
Unlike Clients, you can associate translation resources with as many project groups as you need.
Now that you have defined the categories, you are ready to create your linguistic resources.
Setting up linguistic resources
Smartcat supports multilingual translation memories, which makes creating and managing TMs easier than with some desktop applications. For example, if you have 20 customers translating in 15 languages, another CAT tool might require you to create 300 TM databases. With Smartcat, you only need to create one TM per customer/project group.
To create a new TM, go to Linguistic Assets → Translation Memory → Create TM.
Let’s create a TM where English is the source language and French, German, Italian, and Spanish are the target languages. We are also assigning this TM to the client named “ABC Incorporated” and the project group “Legal”. We can name the TM respectively, but it’s not mandatory.
One of the less obvious advantages of multilingual TMs is that you can create a new TM where the source language is one of the target languages of the original TM. This can be convenient if you work in mixed language pairs.
Once you have created several TMs, your list might look like this:
In a traditional monolingual TM tool, you would need 44 TMs for that! Here you have a much simpler structure, and your data is clearly organized to minimize errors. You could simplify this structure by using only one TM per client, but this can result in out-of-context matches and less consistent translations.
You can now use the same approach to organize your terminology databases, which are called glossaries in Smartcat.
To do this, go to Linguistic Assets → Glossaries. You can create a glossary using the same client and project group labels:
Here we have replicated the same structure as the one for translation memories.
Just like TMs, glossaries are multilingual in Smartcat. Unlike TMs, though, they don’t have a strictly set source language — you can use a glossary in projects where any two of its languages are present as the source or the target.
How detailed should you go?
With both TMs and glossaries, you can go with a high level organization structure with one resource per customer, or do something similar to what we described above. Our suggestion is to mix both on a case by case basis:
- For clients with a complex corporate structure, it is a good idea to match that structure with the resources.
- For smaller clients, a single terminology database will take less time to configure and will be easier to maintain.
If you want to go hardcore, you can create a new TM for every project, while making sure to properly choose the client and project group for each. Smartcat will still fetch these “micro-resources” for subsequent projects, as described in the next section.
Note: While creating a new TM with each project might help with data segregation, it might also create a lot of TM duplication that could reduce translator productivity.
Putting it all to work
Now, whenever you create a project and choose a client/project group, Smartcat will automatically fetch the translation memories and glossaries associated with them:
This ensures that you leverage every possible resource related to said client and project group, eliminates many potential project creation errors that lead to unnecessary work, and just saves time.
Organizing your data properly from the get-go increases the productivity of your project managers, who will no longer spend time looking for matching resources. This will also make things easier for your translation team, who will benefit from optimized TM leveraging and consistent terminology. Ultimately, this will increase your translation throughput, profit, and quality alike.
This article was created in partnership with Braahmam.