How to create a Multilingual Excel file

If you want to have both the source text and corresponding translations into multiple languages in one Excel spreadsheet, you can do it easily with Smartcat.

Smartcat allows you to translate these files without having to copy and paste the translations into the specified columns manually. The Smartcat system automatically detects the specified columns from your Excel file and automatically configures the settings for you as a means to get the file ready for translation.

Where to find the feature?

First, you need to upload your Excel file.

  1. Go to your Smartcat account.
  2. Click on your workspace.
  3. Open Projects.
  4. Create an empty Project.
  5. Open that Project and upload your Excel file(s).

After doing that, you'll want to choose MultilingualExcel_v2 Parsing method in the right settings panel.

How multilingual Excel works

Let’s imagine you have an Excel file that looks like this:

  1. Column A (Key) - contains the IDs of your translation lines
  2. Columns B, C, E represent the target languages you want to translate into.
  3. Column D (English) - your source language
  4. You have some comments for each row in column F (Comment)
  5. Length restrictions in column G (Length)
  6. And columns H, I are for languages that you might add in the future, and their specific identities are yet to be determined.

Upload your file and choose MultilingualExcel_v2 Parsing method.

As you can see all the columns were automatically detected (highlighted in box 3).

And since two more languages, Spanish and Turkish, are selected in the project (highlighted as number 1), you have these options in settings (highlighted as number 2) which you can specify manually by pressing Customize Columns button or leaving it as is.

Alternatively, you can delete target languages you don’t need for the specific document by clicking “x” near the corresponding languages in section 1. Deleted language will disappear in settings (2) automatically.

Let’s look inside Customize Columns window:

You can manually map any column to any language by pressing the column dropdown.

Let’s choose column H for our Spanish target language in our example.

Additionally, you can specify if there are any comments with context or some other useful information by pressing Add button (1).

Next, choose the column type (2), and then select the column itself (3).

You can also remove information columns that you don't need (4).

Remember to click “Save”!

If there is already a translation in the document, you can choose whether you want to keep it or not, and if so, whether you want the linguists to be able to edit it:

Click “Finish” and wait for the magic to happen:

You can now assign linguists to the project and after the translation is completed, you’ll have the resulting file with all the translations in place!

Please note, there is also Spanish translation in column H, that we manually specified in Customize Columns window in our example.

How column auto-detection works

Automatic detection adheres to the following rules:

  1. Detection is case-insensitive
  2. Only the first line of the Excel file is scanned for detecting languages or the information column.
  3. All symbols, apart from a-z, will be truncated and replaced with a single “-” for matching, unless there's a full match with the language name.

💡 e.g. string length - becomes string-length (space replaced with -)

  •  en####us - becomes en-us (#### symbols replaced with single -
  • en_gb - becomes en-gb (_ replaced with -
  • chinese (simplified) - will be matched with language name and stay as is

4. Target and Source column can contain:

  • The language name in English, as it's named in Smartcat:
  • Or the language tag in ISO-639 standard

5. The Context column can contain values such as key, id, or context

6. The Comment column can be labeled as comment or comments

7. The String length limit column can have labels like length-limit, string-length, length or limit

💡 e.g. Length limit, string_length etc.



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