Pretranslating documents

Pretranslating a document means bulk-filling its target segments according to certain rules. It is handy to use:

  • When your document has a lot of translation memory matches. This will rid you of clicking through and confirming each matching segment.
  • When your document has number-only segments. Smartcat will insert numbers and even convert their formatting according to language rules.
  • For machine translation post-editing. Smartcat will fill every segment with the machine translation of the source text, for a translator to edit and confirm.

In Smartcat, you can set up pretranslation either when creating a project or at any time under the Pretranslation tab. Note that the same pretranslation rules are applied to all existing and future project documents — so you don’t need to configure them for individual documents.

Pretranslation rules are applied in steps, and for each rule you define:

  • What to insert: translation memory matches, numbers, or machine translation, as described above.
  • For translation memory matches, TM name, match percentage (read more here) and minimum word count needed for a match to be inserted.
  • Whether to confirm the segment after insertion.

By defining different rules and applying them in different orders, you can achieve flexible pretranslation scenarios.

Example steps (scroll down for screenshot):

  1. Insert and confirm numbers.
  2. Insert and confirm 101% matches longer than 2 words from your primary TM and confirm them at the Editing stage.
  3. Insert but don’t confirm 75% matches from your primary TM.
  4. Insert but don’t confirm 100% matches from another (say, domain-specific) TM.
  5. Insert but don’t confirm machine translation.


See also: Comparison of pretranslation features in MemoQ and Smartcat.