Translation editor

Learn how to perform translations via Lokalise web interface, use machine translation and translation memory suggestions.

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

Web translation editor is a part of the project editor that you can use to add or update translation values.

Getting started

To get started, log into Lokalise. You'll be presented with the projects dashboard. Click on a project name:

You'll navigate to the project editor that lists all translation keys, languages, and values. To start translating, simply click on any translation value:

Please note that if you want to concentrate on translating into a single language, you can switch to the bilingual view as explained in the corresponding article.

Translation editor features

So, once you have clicked on a translation value, you'll see the translation editor:

In the example above, we're modifying the French translation. The editor contains the following elements:

  • Text input to enter the translation value. You can type regular text, provide HTML markup, and add placeholders.

  • Save button. Once the translation is saved, the editor will be hidden and you'll see the actual value. Click on the value to edit it once again.
    Please note that sometimes you may also see a green button with two checkmarks. This button appears when you are assigned with a task. Click on it to save the translation value and mark this item as "completed" in the current task. Please learn more in the corresponding article.

  • "Cancel" button to cancel all the changes that you've made.

  • Insert source — copy the base language value into the editor. The base language is usually the language that you are translating from. In the example above English is set as a base.

  • Display placeholders as blocks during editing — pressing on this icon will hide all placeholders and markup elements and display them as small blocks.

    This is very convenient if you don't want to break these elements by mistake (as in most cases such elements should be left intact). Please learn more in the corresponding article.

  • Character count — in the example above, the translation is empty therefore the counter shows 0. It will be automatically updated once you start typing.
    Please note that sometimes the counter may show something like 5/100. It means that you've entered five characters so far and the maximum length for this translation is 100 characters. If the limit is reached, you won't be able to enter any more characters. This limit is set on a per-key basis as explained in the following article.

  • Mark as reviewed (represented as the "glasses" icon) — this icon will appear only if a reviewing feature is enabled in the project settings and you have reviewer permissions. When a translation is marked as reviewed, it usually means that its value was checked by an editor or a proofreader.
    Later it's possible to apply a filter to show only reviewed (or unreviewed) translations or, for example, export only the reviewed strings.

Please note that Lokalise provides many key shortcuts to perform common actions. Learn more in the corresponding article.

To the right, you can see the Suggestions tab:

  • In the example above, the first block under the Suggestions tab is the AI Suggestions. Click on the Translate with AI button to get started. Please learn more in the corresponding article.

  • The next element (100% — Your name) is the item taken from the translation memory (TM). This item was displayed because you or some other contributor has translated a similar string into French and thus you can take advantage of this translation.
    Learn more about translation memory in the corresponding article.

  • Next, we can see three suggestions provided by machine translation (MT) engines: Google Translate, DeepL, Microsoft Translator. Click on the suggestion to insert it into the editor. Please note that MT engines might provide inaccurate results in complex cases.

  • There's also a TM (translation memory) tab where you can search translation memory entries and manage TM provided you have proper permissions. Learn more in the corresponding article.

You can control the appearance of the Suggestions tab in your personal profile under the General tab.

Sometimes the Suggestions tab may also contain glossary entries:

In the example above, we can see the "API" suggestion taken from the project glossary. A glossary is utilized to store translations and explanations for complex and special terms. To learn more about glossary, please check the corresponding article.

I cannot edit a translation! Why?

If you cannot edit or save a translation, there can be multiple causes. Let's discuss two common scenarios.

You can't open the translation editor

In other words, you can't start translating at all because clicking on the value does not bring up the editor. Here are the some typical reasons:

  1. This translation value is being modified by another contributor. To prevent conflicts, it cannot be modified simultaneously. In this case you'll see the contributor's name and avatar under the translation value.

  2. In rare cases you might see yourself modifying a translation. To fix the issue, please try to:

    1. Check if you have any other browser tabs with the Lokalise editor opened.

    2. Investigate network issues on your PC. Wait for 5-10 minutes, reload the page, and see if the issue persists.

    3. If nothing helps, please reach out to our support team.

  3. This language is not set as a contributable for you. In other words, you do not have permission to modify translations for this language. Contact your team lead or project administrator to request proper access rights.

  4. This translation is locked because it was added to a task and you were not assigned as the task contributor. Translation might also be locked because it was added to a professional order. In this case you'll see the following icon next to the text:

    So, you'll have to wait until the task or the order is completed.

  5. Sometimes, project admins may enable the Contributing within tasks only option in the project settings. When this option is enabled, all non-admin won't be able to modify any translations unless they are explicitly assigned to a task. Please contact your project administrator to learn more.

  6. When working in the bilingual view, you won't be able to modify source language values:

    In this example, English is the source language therefore you cannot edit translation values to the left. In order to modify English translations, set this language as the target in the dropdown at the top or switch to the multilingual view.

You can open the editor but cannot save the translation

In most cases the translation cannot be saved because certain quality assurance checks are violated and their escalation level is set to "error". Lokalise supports many QA checks so it's quite hard to say what exactly you are violating. However, we would recommend checking that your translation does not have any mistakes, it has all the placeholders and HTML markup as the target language, and you don't miss any opening/closing brackets.

If you are a project admin, you can proceed to the project settings, open the QA checks tab and find the checks with the "error" escalation level to narrow the scope of the problem. If you are a regular contributor, contact your project admin for more details.

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