6 easy ways to automate your translation and localization workflow

Customers love Lokalise for its ability to automate routine tasks. With Automations, we have taken it to the next level – providing the tools you need to automate processes with full flexibility to set your own rules.

In a nutshell – Automations let you make changes in your project automatically, based on changes in the monitored language. You can set the system to trigger chains of actions like applying machine translations, translation memories, pseudolocalization, and others based on changes in any language in the project.

To get started, think about the tasks you perform frequently in your Lokalise project and write down the steps you usually take. Then structure your rules to have these actions performed automatically for you. It’s that simple. Of course, if you need assistance from Lokalise’s product specialists, you can always discuss your specific needs using our live chat. We’re happy to help.

In the meantime, read more about popular use cases for Automations. Maybe you’ll discover a better way to organize workflows that you wouldn’t have thought to automate.

1. Use Automations for localization at the design stage

Translating content without visual context increases the probability of errors, but it’s also likely to cause an unnecessary waste of resources. In these situations, each time a certain change or immediate fix is needed it is up to developers to address it. Resolving issues and then syncing new text with existing keys requires time, which creates additional costs.

This is why companies are gradually moving towards localizing at the design stage. That way, localization is not an afterthought, but an integral part of the international expansion strategy. With Lokalise, you can easily adopt this process and reap multiple rewards by automating workflows.

Your designer, who is working on new multilingual design assets, has to have translations ready so that they can preview it in time and fix potential design breaks. Previously, Lokalise allowed you to log in and prepare these translations for the creative team. This is typically done in a couple of clicks (and is still available), but with frequent changes this may become tedious. That’s where Automations come into the picture.

With Automations, you can set custom rules on certain projects to perform the above tasks automatically. Then, have all the next steps predefined to ensure the process moves forward.

How it works:

You can set automated rules to monitor changes in, for example, the English language and pre-translate the rest of the languages using machine translation (MT).

Now when your designer works on multilingual assets in Figma or Adobe XD, and pushes new keys to Lokalise, they are automatically translated using MT. This happens in a matter of seconds. The designer can then quickly pull back the translations in all languages, review the assets, and fix what needs to be fixed; all without ever leaving the design tool or bothering you with translation requests.

For full control over new translations, you can simultaneously apply new custom statuses for further QA revisions if needed.

2. Translation memories for established projects

Lokalise has a powerful built-in translation memory (TM) that is shared across all team projects and members. Everything that you (or any other team members) type in the editor, upload, or send via an API is being saved automatically in the translation memory for future use.

In other words, the translation memory is your own database of sentence pairs, or text segments that have already been translated, and can be reused when translating similar or identical content in your projects. For projects with well-established translation memories, you may find it useful to enable pre-translation with TM matches that meet the 90-100% criteria.

Our segmentation feature can also help improve translation memory. It splits translations into smaller, relevant chunks, so your TM will be shorter, and matches will be more accurate. It makes it much simpler when localizing longer texts.

How it works:

Since the functionality works based on the “try – otherwise” principle, you can use Automations to set certain chains depending on TM match rates. Setting the minimum translation change threshold that will trigger the action chains is also possible.

For example, set the first rule to try applying translation memories with 100% matches. As the next step, you can select the “or” option to apply 90% matches in the case that the system fails to find a 100% TM match. What’s important is, you can set different custom statuses for these pre-translations to easily track what level of TM match was applied.

When you have set this rule, if there is a change in the defined language, Lokalise will search for a matching entry in translation memories among your selected language pairs. If a 90% to 100% match is found, the corresponding translation will be automatically populated for the given key.

Once this is done, your team of translators will only need to fill in the gaps. This can help you save significantly on translation costs and ensure translation consistency.

3. Auto-fill rules for language variations

Often there are several language variations, with only minor differences, within the same project, e.g. English, English US, and English UK.

Instead of copy/pasting the translations, as you update one of the languages, you can set up auto-fill rules in order to perform automatic updates in another. Pretty neat, right?

How it works:

To set automatic updates, all you need to do is select a language to monitor for changes (source language) and one or more languages to which you want to copy the monitored translation language value.

You can also set custom statuses for these translations to easily filter out and post-edit these items if needed.

4. Quick translation turnaround time using MT

Machine translation (MT) can speed up translation times and help your team deploy more quickly. There are numerous benefits of using it, especially when it comes to tight deadlines, low translation budgets, or simply temporary translations to create multilingual prototypes.

If you are a frequent user of machine translation, you will love using Automations to run pre-translation with Google or DeepL MT.

The process is similar to the one described above. All you need to do is create a new automated rule. Furthermore, you can use machine translation as part of the sequence when translation memories fail to apply translation matches. You will no longer need to apply MT one by one or order it from the “Orders” page. This saves you a significant amount of time.

Machine Translations

5. Creating prototypes by using pseudolocalization

Pseudolocalization (or pseudo-localization) is a method used for testing the internationalization aspects of software. Instead of translating the software text into a foreign language, the textual elements of an application are replaced with an altered version of the original language.

For example:

Account Settings becomes [!!! Àççôûñţ Šéţţîñĝš !!!]

Developers may use this function to pre-fill languages with content before translators start working on the texts. This is particularly useful for testing the software before its release.

How it works:

Automations eliminate the pain of frequently performing the same task over again. Let’s say you are releasing new features monthly in English and German. As you may know, translating from English to German can result in a 20-35% text expansion.

When you set an automated rule to monitor changes in English and make pseudolocalized strings in German (defining the increase at 30% per the above), Lokalise will automatically perform this action for you once the files are pulled from the code repository.

Developers can then perform their tests as normal, without any further iterations from you. The process moves forward and you ensure a healthy project pace.

6. Source change management

For a more efficient workflow, contributors working on a project at Lokalise can assign various statuses to translations. Previously you could add verified/unverified or custom statuses one by one or using bulk actions. With Automations, we have eliminated these extra steps to provide you with more flexibility and convenience.

Now it’s possible to simply automate adding or modifying custom statuses without any additional iterations.
How it works:

When the value of the defined language is changed (source or any other language), the system automatically adds or modifies the status you defined when setting up the automated rule.

You can also choose whether or not you’d like to clear previously assigned statuses (if there were any before the change was triggered).

This feature is very flexible and can be used to cater to different needs and workflows. Custom statuses can be of great use for further organizing your localization project, for instance:

  • filtering translations
  • assigning tasks
  • exporting translations with particular statuses
  • and much more

Learn more about Automations

We all know that each organization has its own preferred workflows and procedures. Every translation project is unique. With Automations, you can enjoy additional flexibility and automate routine tasks.

The benefits are clear: nicely defined workflows, no idle waiting time, no unnecessary back-and-forths, and much more. Automations support your efforts to optimize localization costs and increase overall productivity, which ultimately results in faster language delivery, better translation quality, and shorter times to market.

Another piece of good news: if your organization relies on continuous localization, Automations can help you achieve much-needed process efficiency for your cross-functional team.

Think of it as a relay race: all of the team members have their place in the process and each one needs to hand over the baton to the next person, once they’ve done their part. With Automations, the handover happens immediately, streamlining your workflow and providing your team with significantly increased speed.

Read our documentation on Automations to find out how you can get to the finish line faster or book a demo to see Lokalise in action.

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