Aleksa Krstic
Aleksa Krstic
November 29, 2023
3 min read
November 29, 2023
3 min read

Simplify your XLIFF translation process

Simplify your XLIFF translation process

Struggling with XLIFF translation? This guide is designed to provide the assistance you need. In this blog post, we will delve into different methods for translating XLIFF files. Additionally, we'll highlight common pitfalls in XLIFF file translation and offer practical tips to enhance and streamline your translation process.

Exploring different ways to translate XLIFF files

Translating XLIFF files can be achieved through two main approaches. The first approach involves using universal text editors that support the XLIFF format, such as Notepad or Notepad++. The second approach employs specialized translation software, purpose-built for managing and processing translation files.

To understand the distinction between using text editors and specialized translation software, consider the following. Text editors are multi-purpose tools capable of modifying a variety of file types. They are not tailored for any specific file format or task, making them more suitable for users with technical know-how. For example, while they can be used for translating XLIFF files, this requires a solid grasp of the XLIFF structure and the ability to pinpoint areas needing translation. Specialized translation tools, in contrast, are specifically created for translation-related tasks. These tools come equipped with features like translation memory, glossary management, screenshots, and various other features enhancing translation efficiency; streamlining the translation process and reducing errors.

Tired of manually editing translation files?

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Common mistakes in XLIFF file translation

Here, we will outline some of the most frequent errors encountered in XLIFF file translation:

  • Invalid file syntax: Since XLIFF files are XML-based, they can pose editing challenges for non-technical individuals, like translators. Typical syntax errors include missing closing tags, incorrectly ordered nested elements, and other related issues.
  • Invalid placeholders: Translating placeholders can lead to errors in the application. It's important to distinguish between text that should be translated and text that should remain unchanged.
  • Use of unsupported tags: There are two commonly used versions of the XLIFF file format: 1.2 and 2.0. Make sure you are using tags that are compatible with your XLIFF file version.

Using specialized translation tools mostly solves the above-mentioned errors, as these tools automatically generate XLIFF files and offer features that protect you from making accidental mistakes while translating.

Translate XLIFF files online

Online translation tools facilitate seamless collaboration between translators and other team members, significantly enhancing the speed and quality of translations. Furthermore, these tools support the auto-generation of XLIFF files, which effectively reduce errors typical in manual editing and file exchanges, thereby accelerating the overall development.

Additionally, online translation tools provide multiple approaches to streamline translation workflows. Below are some of the most popularly employed techniques:

Delegating translation tasks

Online translation tools enable the creation and delegation of translation tasks to translators. This approach facilitates easy tracking of translation progress, optimizes workflow to meet specific needs, and allows team members to focus on other critical aspects of the product.

Below, you can see an example of an assigned translation task on Localizely.

Localizely - Delegating translation tasks

Utilizing Machine Translation

Online translation tools support Machine Translation, thereby enabling fast translation of XLIFF files, often in mere seconds. When Machine Translation is complemented by a swift post-translation review, it ensures that the translated XLIFF files are ready for usage in a very short time.

Below is an example of utilizing Machine Translation on Localizely.

Localizely - Utilizing Machine Translation

Placing translation orders

In some cases, you may want professional translation services. Online translation tools support this too. You can create translation orders and assign them to skilled professionals who can translate XLIFF files within predetermined timeframes.

Below is an example of placing a translation order on Localizely.

Localizely - Placing translation orders


This article provides a concise overview of translating XLIFF files. It discusses two prevalent methods for handling these files and introduces techniques that enhance efficiency in translation workflows through the use of advanced localization tools.

Localizely stands out as a localization platform that streamlines the translation of XLIFF files. It boasts a variety of features tailored for software localization. Additionally, Localizely offers a free plan (no credit card required), perfect for smaller projects, and offers completely free services for open-source projects.

Try Localizely for free.

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Aleksa Krstic
Aleksa Krstic

Aleksa is a Software Engineer at Localizely. Over the past few years, Aleksa has been working in the field of software localization. In his free time, he enjoys playing guitar and writing tech posts.

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