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Onboarding guide for translators
Onboarding guide for translators

This localization guide will help you understand how to perform translations using Lokalise.

Ilya Krukowski avatar
Written by Ilya Krukowski
Updated over a week ago

Welcome to Lokalise 👋

Please note that the video above shows slightly outdated UI (for example, suggestions now appear in the right panel) but all in all the covered functionality is the same.

Sign up

Lokalise is a translation management system, which is designed to make the process of localization faster and easier.

Usually, there are two ways for any translator to join Lokalise. The simplest scenario is when you've received an invitation link to join a translation project via email. If that's the case it’s all good: just proceed to the next section.

Another scenario is when you were told about us, but you don’t have an invitation link. In this case, you can create a new account at by clicking Try it free. Once you create a new account and confirm your email, you might be presented with a list of teams to join:

Just find your team in the list and click Join.

Please note that depending on the team's settings you might not be able to see it in the list. These teams will be displayed based on your email's domain part: for example, if you've registered with email, only the teams that have domain connected will be displayed for you. In certain cases you might see a Request button instead of Join: it means that a team admin will have to manually approve your enrollment. Therefore, if you are not sure which email to use we recommend asking your team administrator for further instructions. Additional information on joining existing teams can be found in the corresponding documentation.

If you don't have any team yet and you would like to test drive Lokalise features, then simply click Create your team (check the screenshot above) after confirming your email address. You will be able to take advantage of all our goodies within the next two weeks. When the trial ends, you will be switched to a free plan automatically.

Your profile

To change your personal details, click on your avatar in the bottom left corner and then proceed to Profile settings:

Please note that Lokalise employs Gravatar, a globally recognized avatar. Therefore, in order to manage your profile picture, you'll have to visit and create a new account with the same email as the one used on Lokalise.

Projects page

After logging in to the system, you should a page looking like this:

This is the projects dashboard and it shows the projects that you're a member of. A project usually contains translations for a single app or a website.

For each project, a short summary is provided:

  • Project completion — you can track the overall progress here.

  • Base words — the total word count of this project. In Lokalise, a base language means source language. It is marked with a small dot near the language flag. Sometimes, base language may be marked as done with less than 100% completion. It’s because there could be a translation key with an empty value there.

  • Keys — the total number of keys in this project. Keys are unique identifiers that are used for representing pieces of text in the code, in files or elsewhere.

  • QA issues — you can click and track any issue that our automatic checker has found. These may be grammar/spelling errors, translation reviewing issues, etc.

Apart from looking at the overall project info, you can track the progress of each relevant language separately. If you click on the language, you will be able to edit it in a bilingual mode. In this mode, you can focus on translating one language at a time.

Interface overview

Please note that depending on your access rights and project settings certain elements might not be visible. You can find more information about the project editor in the corresponding article.

The project presented in the screenshot above is called Angular. Your project editor might look slightly different but all the main features and menu options will be nearly identical. We’ll cover all features step-by-step, but here’s a quick overview of the editor interface:

  • Project name – our project is called Angular. Depending on the project settings, you might also see the branches dropdown next to the name. Using this dropdown you will be able to navigate between different versions of the same project but for simplicity sake we will put this feature aside for now. You can find more information on project branching in the corresponding article. If this dropdown is visible for you, we recommend asking your project manager which branch you have to select.

  • Available languages – here you can see the number of languages you will be working with. Inside this dropdown you can hide and show languages that are currently shown in the multilingual view.

  • Tasks – this is where you can check any tasks assigned to you.

  • Comments widget (previously known as "project chat") – no need to switch between tabs and windows, you can browse and leave key comments using this widget.

  • Team avatar – you might be added to more than one team, so here you can check your current team and other teams available to you. Also, by clicking on the avatar you can manage your personal profile and team settings provided you have enough permissions to do that.

  • Amount of keys – keys are unique identifiers that are used for representing text strings in the code, in files or elsewhere. Each key has the corresponding translations for each language that is added to the project.

  • Base (or source) language – this is the main language that you will translate from.

  • Languages and places for translation – here you can see the languages you will be working with. Just click on the text field next to the language name and start translating with the help of Lokalise editor.


Once someone assigns a task to you, you'll see a notification in the task inbox. In addition, you may receive a notification via email. For each task you can track the progress, see the due date and the task description. There are two types of tasks:

  • Translation — you are expected to perform translations into one or more languages.

  • Review — you are expected to check the existing translations and set their status to "Reviewed". To achieve that, simply click on the "Glasses" icon next to the translation (check a screenshot below).

Click on the language name in the task inbox and it will open the editor with all the items from this task. Alternatively, click on the word count ("Words to do") to open only the uncompleted keys.

Task-related fields are marked with small orange circles. Once you translate one of the items (or set its status to "Reviewed", depending on the task type), the orange circle will turn to a checkmark meaning that this item is completed. You can click on the checkmark to set the item status back to "uncompleted".

"Words to do" counters are updated automatically as you mark the items as completed. Depending on the configuration of the task set by the creator, you may need to either manually mark a language as done, or it will be marked as done automatically:

Options and features


Lokalise offers a wide range of filtering options. You can choose one of the existing filters or you can create a new filter and customize it in any way you like. 


You can use the Sort by option and list all the keys in the order you prefer.

Multilingual and bilingual view

Multilingual view allows you to see and translate multiple languages at the same time. You can see the languages listed one after another:

Bilingual view slightly changes the interface. It allows you to focus on translating one language at a time. If you want to switch to another language, you can simply change the source or the target language in the top menu using one of the dropdowns:

There is also a Focus mode available in the Bilingual view, which removes all info except for the translations:

Show source difference since last translation

You can easily understand what changes have been made to the source text since it has last been translated. To achieve that, enable the Show source difference since it was last translated option:

In the example above we can see that after the tallest_mountain key has been translated, the source text has been changed from "Mount Everest" to just "Everest".

Please note that this feature is only available in the bilingual view.

Remember position

You don’t have to worry about wasting time trying to find the exact place where you stopped working. We have a bookmark feature: just enable the Remember position in project option. As you can see on the screenshot above, the blue scrollbar tracks the current position.

Display placeholders as blocks

For your convenience, we offer Display placeholders as block option. You can choose to view the placeholders in their original form such as <strong></strong> or you can turn them into blocks, so they don’t distract you. In addition, our QA tool will automatically warn you if you forgot to insert placeholders while performing translations.

Display grammar errors

The display spelling and grammar errors function enables or disables the underlining of words with spelling or grammar mistakes. If you decide to turn it off, our QA checker still will warn you (check the orange triangle in the screenshot above), but won’t underline the word.

QA checker

Missing placeholders

The Missing placeholders QA check will warn you with a red circle. If you click on it, you will see which placeholders are missing in your translation and will be able to add them accordingly.

Grammar and spelling

If a spelling or grammar mistake was found, our QA checker will warn you with an orange triangle. You can click on it to see the detailed explanation.

Please note that your project manager may enable other quality assurance checks.

Translation Memory

This feature might be disabled in your project.

This feature is extremely useful if you are working on more than one project. Our translation memory remembers the accepted translations and offers them for you in other projects. There are two ways to view translation memory entries.

The translation suggestion will be displayed automatically when you click on the translation field:

Please note that translation memory entries will be displayed based on the projects you have access to.

Machine translation

Sometimes you just don’t want to leave empty translations, or want to save time by employing machine translation and then editing it manually. We offer several automatic translation services like Google, DeepL, and Microsoft. Feel free to choose the option that suits you best!

You can also click Google-translate empty values button to populate all empty values for the given key using Google Translate service.

Lokalise AI

Find more information about this feature in the AI Suggestions article.

You can also take advantage of the Lokalise AI to assist you with translating and editing the text:


This feature might be disabled in your project.

Improve the translation quality and reduce ambiguity with the screenshots feature. Your project manager can upload screenshots or pictures which will help you understand the context. These screenshots can be linked to individual keys and the relevant screenshot portion can be highlighted as well.


You can leave key comments and translation-level comments for your team members within Lokalise itself.


This feature might be disabled in your project.

To check translation history and identify any problematic activities to resolve, click the History button:

Here you will see all the changes with detailed information. Click Restore to revert to the older translation version:


This feature might be disabled in your project.

Some words should stay the same in all languages, for example, company names. Some words can have special meaning. Our Glossary allows you to add any words that require special treatment.

Also, there are some words which have more than one meaning. You can add these to the glossary too and write a short explanation.

The word added to Glossary will appear as a suggested translation:

Hotkeys and shortcuts

Learn more about this feature in the corresponding article.

You can switch between hotkey profiles by pressing Ctrl + / or Cmd + /. Currently Lokalise supports two profiles: Default and Classic.

That's it! If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us in the support chat.

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