The Localizer’s Toolkit: Crowdin


The Inlingo team uses a variety of tools to simplify the localization process and improve efficiency. In “The Localizer’s Toolkit,” we discuss these tools in more detail and answer common questions from our clients.

Today, we will examine the localization management platform, Crowdin. We will look at how the platform helps us structure our technological processes, what we consider before beginning a translation project, and which features we use to streamline our localization tasks significantly.

What is Crowdin used for?

We use Crowdin for translation and editing tasks. When preparing for a new project, we always ensure that our team members have the knowledge and experience needed to work with the program and use its features as effectively as possible. If necessary, we also provide additional training to fill any knowledge gaps. And once we’re certain of our skills, we are ready to launch.

How are projects launched in Crowdin?

Before starting a project, the Project Manager sets up an introductory phone call with the client to establish deadlines and language pairs, and discuss information about the game setting and cast of characters. Based on this information, we draw up a statement of work (SOW), calculate the workload, and assemble a team of professionals suited for the task. When working on a rugby simulator, for example, it’s always best to have providers who are familiar with the terminology, understand the genre, and truly know the rules of the game.

Next, we analyze the source text for errors and discrepancies. For the best results, it’s important to have a good quality source. The team checks the file structure to see if everything is OK with the source text. At this point, we need to ensure that the lines of text are appropriately divided into strings, the tags are correctly formatted, and the translators have enough context for each string to understand what’s going on at any given moment.

Finally, we conduct a cultural analysis of the source text. With any project, it’s vital that the material conforms to the cultural and religious norms of the target region. If our team identifies any potential for controversy, we notify the client and provide our expert recommendations. In fact, our team once helped developers introduce Solitaire to the MENA region, which was a very complicated task in terms of cultural and linguistic norms. If you’d like to learn more, check out our case study.

What are the different access levels in Crowdin?

When starting a new task, we ask our clients for the role of a Manager in Crowdin. This allows us to manage the translation process more effectively. With these controls, we can monitor changes to the project, keep track of progress, access translation memories and the glossary, send invitations to providers, and change user roles, as well as import and export files.

The main difference between translators and editors is their roles in a Crowdin project. Providers with the “Translator” status can add translations and vote on translation suggestions from other team members. Providers with the “Proofreader” status have the same controls. However, they also have access to the “Approve” button, which confirms the final version of the text. Once they have approved the text, the translation is considered complete. Managers can assign translator and proofreader roles for the whole project or for specific languages, so users can only access the languages they work with.

Which tools make our translators’ lives easier?

We use translation memories, glossaries, and style guides to ensure that texts are homogenous and retain a high level of quality. Using these resources, Crowdin can suggest translations and track repeated terms throughout the text.

Screenshot 1 — translation options for the word “Error”, Screenshot 2 — expression options for the phrase “Purchase Receipt Error”.

Lucky for us, Crowdin allows us to attach several different translation memories to one project. This helps us maintain consistency when translating, even if the texts for a single game are spread over multiple projects.

Usually, our project managers will create the style guide for a project in a third-party program, then send it to our providers along with the task description. And while questions for developers were previously kept in a separate Q&A Google Document, now any concerns about the text can be discussed by both parties directly in the Crowdin project.

Comments for developers on the right side of the interface

When importing a file to a project, we mark fields containing additional information as “Context,” so that this is clearly distinguished in the final project. For example, we might mark information about the speaker or their conversation partner, a description of the setting, or even a picture of an item. In fact, unlike many CAT programs, Crowdin actually allows us to attach images to rows with a couple of mouse clicks.

Adding an illustration to a line

This helps the translator and editor better understand the atmosphere of the project, so they can reproduce it as accurately as possible in their target language.

What is the final reviewing process in Crowdin?

Once the translators have finished their work, we give the project to the editors for proofreading. At this point, the editor isn’t just checking the text for grammar, spelling, or other errors. Their task is also to ensure that the client’s comments and requests have all been taken into account.

If the editor has questions about the translation, they contact the provider to discuss their concerns. This is an important step, as we value our providers’ creativity and always encourage discussion. Once a string fully conforms to all of our quality standards, the editor confirms it. This is considered the final version of the translation.

Expert Commentary from Crowdin

Most translation software was either created for translators, without the customer in mind, or to translate the final version of the product. But software nowadays is constantly changing, and this requires a continuous localization approach.

Crowdin is ready to offer features both for translators and customers. Translators can cooperate online and have all the resources they need to be productive and make relevant translations. Customers can set up processes that will run in parallel with development.

Working with Crowdin can translate all types of content, and multiple feature branches, edit content and be very flexible, so you can have a continuous localization workflow that won’t slow you down. Translate your new features before release or even the most minor changes as a new UI message – with the same ease.

We constantly improve our offering, so our customers can automate localization and achieve great content in all languages as fast as possible. We’re actively expanding Crowdin Store, which now offers 450+ apps and integrations, so you can connect any tool you use and translate your content without copy-pasting.

These apps allow us not to overload the UI, so each user can install only the apps they need. This way, customers can localize not only their software but also websites, help docs, emails, live chats, surveys, and other content that their customers face to create a native experience at all touchpoints.

We also encourage customers to use Crowdin as a source of truth, where you can edit and create source texts and then send them to your repo or the design team.

Khrystyna Humenna, Head of Marketing at Crowdin