Using linguistic resources

Smartcat helps you quickly generate quality translations through the use of such resources as translation memory, machine translation, glossaries and dictionaries.

You enable translation memories, machine translation and glossaries when creating a project.

Inserting translations from the CAT pane

The CAT pane displays all the linguistic assets for the selected segment that are in all enabled project resources: matches from the translation memory, machine translation and glossary terms.

For each translation, the CAT pane shows the source text, its translation, and the translation type:  a translation memory match (TM), machine translation (MT) or a glossary term (TB).


Additional information about the translation selected in the CAT pane of a segment or term is displayed in the CAT info pane below. 


To use a translation, double-click on it in the CAT pane, and it will be inserted into the Target field of the current segment.

To insert the selected translation (by default, the first match is selected in the CAT pane), you can also press Ctrl+Space. To switch between matches on the CAT pane, use Ctrl+Up and Ctrl+Down then press Ctrl+Space to insert the selected match.

Alternatively, press Ctrl plus the number of the translation or the term in the CAT pane (Ctrl+1, Ctrl+2, etc.).

Note: It is possible to set preferences in the editor to automatically insert the first match in the target field when you get a new segment. 

Translation memory matches

When you select a segment, the system searches the translation memory that is enabled on the project. If it finds a similar or identical segment, the translation will be displayed on the CAT pane.

Translations from the TM are ranked in the order of the match percentage.


The system analyses how much a TM match coincides with the current segment and then displays the match percentage. If a match is ranked 100%, this means that the source of the current segment and the match coincide completely.

If an exact match from the translation memory differs from the current segment by only one numeral, the match is ranked 100%, and the numeral in the inserted translation will be automatically replaced.

The system checks not only the text of the selected segment, but also the context—that is, the previous and next segments. If one of the adjacent segments of the match and the current segment coincide, the rate is 101%, and if both adjacent segments coincide, it is 102%.

If a match is rated less than 100%, it means that the current segment and the TM match differ. Select the translation in the CAT pane to see the difference in the CAT info pane below.


If a match is rated 99%, then the difference consists of just one symbol, or tags or placeholders.

The more you work in the system, and the more often similar or identical sentences appear in the documents you translate, the more time you save by inserting the translations from the TM that you've accumulated.

TM consistency control

Translation memories enable you not only to save time and effort when translating similar texts, they also ensure consistency in your translations and help you avoid mistakes.

If an exact or context match is found for a segment, but your translation is different from that match, a warning of a potential mistake will appear on the QA Check tab.

A warning also appears if the segment has several exact or context matches. In this case you can compare the available translations and verify that you have selected the best option.

Another check prevents accidental confirmation of a fuzzy match. If you insert a match that is less than 100% and confirm the translation without changing anything in it, the QA Check tab will display a warning. It's up to you to make a change to the segment, or ignore the warning.

For more info about error messages see Quality Assurance.

Machine Translation

Whenever you translate contracts, technical descriptions, quotations, or other standard documents, machine translation can save you massive amounts of time. In most cases, machine translation will require editing. However, by using it as a draft, you will complete your task much faster, especially if you set up pretranslation.

Please, keep in mind that machine translation is provided by third-party suppliers - that's why it is a paid service. You can manage additional services on the Productivity Services menu.

However you can use some machine translation engines for free. To do that please mark the Use for free with feedback option.

The available machine translation engines depend on the language pair. 

Glossary terms

The CAT pane displays the terms from the glossaries enabled on the project, which appear in the current segment. Thus, you don't have to manually search for the terms in glossaries.

The terms are also highlighted in yellow in the source text. If you select a term in the CAT pane, it is highlighted in orange.

To insert a term from the CAT pane to the target field, simply press Ctrl plus the number of the term in the CAT pane (Ctrl+1, Ctrl+2, etc.).

Adding terms

You can add terms to the project glossary either on the glossary page or directly in the Editor.

If you are working on a project that a client has created in the system, you might not have the right to work with glossaries, but you can still suggest a term. In this case, the client will see the suggested term and add it to the glossary, edit or reject it. 

To add or suggest a term, press  or Ctrl+E. In the window that opens, fill in the required fields and press Add.

The term will be immediately added to the glossary and will then be available on the CAT pane.

Note: As opposed to translation memories where only one TM is selected for updating, it is possible to add (or suggest) terms to any of the glossaries associated with the project.

Editing terms

To edit a term, select it in the CAT pane, and in the CAT info pane click Edit.


In the window that opens, make the required changes and press Save.


You can also work with terms on the glossary page. Click Go to term in the CAT info pane. The glossary for the term will open in the new browser tab.

To learn more about glossaries, see Creating a Glossary.

Terminology check

Glossaries not only help the translator employ the appropriate terminology in the translation, they also ensure the consistency of the terminology in your texts. The system checks the translation of each segment, and if it finds that the translation of a term does not match the glossary, a warning will appear on the QA Check tab.

If you use a translation marked in the glossary as not recommended, the system will warn you of an error.


The prohibited translations are displayed in red font in the CAT pane.


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