Understanding Smartwords

Discover what Smartwords are and how they are calculated and deducted from your total balance.


Smartwords are words that you translate using Smartcat automatic translation technology and translation memories (TM). You can think of them as your “currency” in Smartcat.

How Smartwords are deducted from your overall balance

Smartwords are calculated and deducted based on how you use them.

Automatic translation

1. The general rule is that Smartwords are deducted for words translated in automatic translation, TM matches, and TM repetitions.

Note: When you run an MT in a translation project, Smartwords are used for each MT engine. So if two MT engines are in use, Smartwords are deducted twice.

2. In real-time translation scenarios, you use Smartwords every time you run automatic translation. 

Real-time translation use case examples: Website Translator, Figma, Google Sheets, Google Chrome extension, and desktop apps.

Translation memory

With TM use, Smartwords are not deducted twice for already translated content. You can insert one TM unit to a segment, then clear it and insert a different TM unit to the same segment and Smartwords will be deducted only once.

Updating already translated files
If a file has been deleted and then uploaded again, it is processed as a new file, and it goes through pre-translation according to project rules.

When a file is uploaded on top of an existing file in order to update it, there are two options:

A file type with no unique IDs: word, excel, etc. Smartcat deletes all old segments and adds new segments. As a result, all segments go through pre-translation rules and we deduct Smartwords for every TM usage and TM match.

A file type with unique IDs: LocJSON, Serge.IO, XLIFF, PO, RESX. Smartcat applies changes in a more intelligent manner, by deleting the segments that should no longer be there and adding new segments. This means that only new or updated segments go through pre-translation and require Smartwords, while the other segments remain intact.

Your Smartwords balance

You can always view your Smartwords balance in the Smartwords tab under the Navigation section via your workspace home page. On this page, you can see your current balance, recurring monthly balance (if it exists), flex limit (if it is enabled), and usage based on timeframe and projects.

Your Smartwords balance is always in plain view. Simply go to the Smartwords usage tab and choose the time period to see how a breakdown of your Smartwords usage and your remaining balance.

With each use of Smartcat AI translation and translation memories, Smartcat automatically reflects the corresponding Smartword usage in your updated Smartwords balance. 

How Smartwords generate large translation savings

Unlike the traditional translation industry billing method of license subscription, Smartwords is a consumption-based model. You pay for what you use: nothing less and nothing more. The cost per Smartword is a small fraction compared to the industry per-cost average. As a result, the more Smartwords that you use for translation, the more that you save compared to prevalent translation industry payment license models. 

Another bonus with Smartwords is that you can reduce or increase your translation requirements at any time, whereas with a license-based model, you typically have to pay the same monetary amount over a fixed period regardless of your usage.

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