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Onboarding guide for managers

A complete walkthrough of working with Phrase as a product, localization, or translation project manager.

As a product, localization, or translation project manager, you are typically the one who creates the translation workflow and decides who needs to do what and when. Coordinating the process without losing sight of key aspects such as scalability, quality, and efficiency is simpler than you imagine if you’ve got Phrase in your corner.

We’ve put together this all-inclusive guide for you to familiarize yourself with the different Phrase settings that you can choose for your localization project. Make the most of the below features, which will help you get exceptional-quality translations without compromising on efficiency and speed. Let’s dive into it!

Setting Up Your Phrase Organization

To start making the most of Phrase, first, you need to set up an account for your organization. Getting started with Phrase is very straight-forward thanks to our incredibly user-friendly interface, but if you need some guidance, below you can find the essential steps.

Create Projects and Jobs

Once you complete the sign-up, a wizard will help you set up your first Project. For each Project you create, you will need to select a default Locale, i.e., its main language, and any additional Languages into which your copy will be translated.

Phrase lets you create many Projects; you can set them up by product (e.g., app 1, app 2, app 3), by platform (website, Android, iOs), by feature (onboarding, payment), and much more.

To keep a neat structure, you can also subdivide Projects into Jobs (here’s an in-depth webinar on how to create Jobs). If categorization doesn’t suit your organization and you want all your translation work in the same Project, that’s possible too: there’s no size limit whatsoever.

Previously to creating a new Project, your developers will have segmented the copy into translation strings or pieces of text and assigned them Keys (IDs that reference these strings), which you can then group together. This step is part of a process called internationalization, which precedes localization.

Check the Dashboards

After completing the Project wizard, you will see an overview of the Project you just created on the Project Dashboard. Similarly, for an item-by-item review of each Job within a Project, you can check out the Jobs Dashboard

This is what the Project Dashboard looks like:

Phrase Project DashboardFollowing the same containment logic by which you subdivide Projects into Jobs, you can also structure Projects within folder-like locations called Spaces. These are especially useful when you have dozens of Projects and you want to keep your workflow neat and organized. Learn more about Projects and Spaces in this article.

Upload Your Files

Once a Project has been created, it’s time to feed it with translatable content that you will then retrieve in multiple languages. The easiest way to go about it is by setting up a Phrase integration with your application and uploading existing locale files directly from it.

Phrase supports all common localization file formats, and you can upload them in three different ways:

For a detailed description of how to upload your localization files step by step, refer to this guide.

Phrase File Upload

Onboard Your Teams

Now you’ve got all the necessary data and are all set to kickstart your localization, all within Phrase. The next step is assigning team members to your Projects, each with specific access rights in the interest of security and performance improvement.

With Phrase, developers, designers, translators, and managers can work together in the cloud on the same localization project. All you need to do is establish access rights for each of the six predefined Roles (see them below) add everyone up to the platform under the correct one:

  • Administrator,
  • Project Manager,
  • Developer,
  • Translator,
  • Designer,
  • Guest.

Set Up the In-Context Editor

If you’re working on a web application and prefer your translators to work directly on the website as they browse it, we recommend installing In-Context Editor (ICE) for improved and faster localization.

Phrase’s ICE provides your linguists with maximum context: they can use the UI live preview to see, in real-time, what their output will look like when the content goes live, and to edit and add translations on the online environment in a couple of clicks.

Phrase In-Context Editor

More Documentation

Prefer a visual demonstration of how to go through the first steps? Check out this webinar on how to get started with Phrase. Alternatively, take a look at this help article for more detailed information on the same topic.

Define a Localization Process

Now that your Project setup is ready, it’s time to decide what features suit your localization process best (please note that most of the following features aren’t available in the Basic Plan).

Example 1: Pre-Translation and Human Post-Editing

If you are working on a rush Project, you can make the most of Translation Memory input and Machine Translation: enable them in your Project Settings. Then, use the Pre-Tranlsation (previously Autofill) feature to translate all new content and automatically mark it as unverified.

This way, when new content is added, you create a translation Job for auto-filled content and assign translators who verify or edit it.


Example 2: Order Translations in Phrase

If you don’t have a team of translators ready to start working on your Project, Phrase connects you with professional translators in just a few clicks through our LSP integration. Simply tag the relevant Keys, and place a translation order with our vendor partners Gengo and TextMaster without leaving Phrase.

To reduce costs, you can use the Pre-Translation feature to automatically fill in Translation Memory matches only, i.e., no machine translation, and create orders for only the rest of the content.

Ordering translations in Phrase

Example 3: Translate with the Four-Eye Principle

A third option is to implement what we call Advanced Review Workflow, a feature that lets you create a Job with a translator and a proofreader for each language. By default, this function requires that all content, before going live, be signed off by a second linguist or by someone in a different team, like Marketing or Product.

Need different processes for different languages? That’s fine. Phrase lets you mix it up and choose a different workflow per locale.

As long as you define each process clearly and give your translators proper context to avoid quality issues down the line, you can achieve great results by ordering some languages from a professional translator in Phrase and having other locales translated by native speaking colleagues internally. 

Monitor Quality and Performance

To further improve the process and ensure that quality standards are met, make the most of Phrase’s automated quality and performance functions:

The Quality Assurance Feature (QA Feature)

Use Phrase’s QA feature (previously Checks) on any locales for which you want to flag up common problems like overly long wording, broken placeholders, and term base misusage.

Establish character limitations for certain keys like CTA buttons or SEO metadata; insert dynamic content through placeholders, and set up business-specific term bases. All with the peace of mind that Phrase will let you know if any of these extra instructions aren’t respected.

If any issues come up, you can either stop translations from being saved (strict setting) or allow translators to still save their work with problems highlighted on the Issue List (moderate setting).


Statistics are what inform a manager’s actions. With Phrase, you can keep an eye on your team members‘ performance and progress, including the amount of translated words, keys, and much more. Simply head over to your Project and click on the Analytics (previously Reports) tab. You can filter this information by Language, by user activity, by tag, etc. Find out more about Analytics here.


Cost Monitoring

The operating costs of any localization project derive from factors such as the time that internal people spend on translation tasks, the bills from external translators or translation orders, etc. In general terms, the less time localization stakeholders spend working on your project, the more you can reduce costs.

As a localization or translation project manager, you can regularly evaluate and optimize cost-impacting factors using the different Phrase features outlined above, which are designed to automate your workflow and save time and money. Learn more about how to reduce translation costs while maintaining high-quality localization in the long run.

Further Reading

Your work as a manager is far from simple, and there’s always a new optimization challenge around the corner. Take advantage of these five additional reads that will prepare you to beat any potential hardships down the line: