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Introduction to Context

The following article applies to Global Delivery Network, Application Resource File, Business Document, and CMS Connector project types.


Providing quality contextual information makes the work of translation faster and more accurate. Context helps translators make linguistic decisions based on where a term appears in your site or app. It also allows them to account for layout and space restrictions in their translations.

Smartling can show context for a string in two basic ways. Dynamic HTML context is a snapshot of a web page - captured by the GDN, or with the Smartling Chrome Context Capture Extension - which Translation Resources see in the Context window of the Translation Interface. As translations are added for each string, they replace the original text in the Context window, allowing Translation Resources to see what their content will look like on the published website. This helps them to anticipate length or formatting issues.

Image context is a static JPG or PNG image used to display context for non-web content such as apps. Translators can use the image to see where their translated text will be displayed in the app, but the context image will not change as translation progresses.

Context for GDN projects

Context is gathered automatically when you capture content from your website. For many websites, you may get adequate context without taking any further action. However, automatic context gathering through the GDN is limited with some types of web content, such as javascript. In these instances, you can use the Smartling Context Capture Chrome Extension to fill in any gaps in your context.

Context for Files projects

There are two ways to manage context. Any content that can be displayed in a browser can be captured using the Smartling Context Capture Chrome Extension. For other content, such as mobile apps, you can upload screenshots to provide context.

Context for Business Documents projects

Smartling automatically converts the documents to HTML to provide context. Note that this is intended as a guide for translators and may not exactly match the final document when it is published in its original format.

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