Basic Review Workflow

Phrase offers a simple yet powerful mechanism to implement a review workflow for your translations and to make sure your translators are notified when the source content has changed - which requires the revision of existing translations.

This article covers the Basic Review Workflow. If you are looking for the Advanced Review Workflow using an additional review step, please see here.

What is a Basic Review Workflow?

When using the Basic Review Workflow, each translation in Phrase can be either “verified” (default) or “unverified”. Unverified translations are clearly marked and you can search for them in the editor. An unverified translation can either require proofreading or revision by a translator, e.g. because the original meaning has changed.

Automatic Unverification

When the source content for a translation changes, you want to make sure your translators are notified about this change so that they can revise and/or verify the accuracy of the translations they made.

Automatic unverification is triggered for all changes made to translations of “Main languages” in a project. Most often these are the languages of your main customer base (for example Spanish if your customers are located in Spain) and thus most important. You can mark a language as a main language within the language settings.

This also applies to translations updated via file upload (e.g. via API) when the “update translations” option was specified. Translations of main languages that are updated during that process will also trigger automatic unverification.

Manual Unverification

Besides automatic unverification, you can also (un)verify translations manually. Simply click the “Unverify” or “Verify” button next to a translation within the editor.

Of course you can also verify and unverify translations via API.

Batch Verification

You can also verify and unverify translations in batch via the editor by selecting the checkbox next to the key names from your search results. If you hold down the Shift key you can select all keys between your first and second selection. Alternatively, you can also use the "Select all search results" checkbox at the top to select all keys from your search query. From the list of batch-actions you can mark selected translations as "Verified" or "Unverified".

Viewing Changes

When deciding whether a translation is still accurate, it can be very helpful to see which changes were actually made to the source translations since the translation in question was verified the last time.

You can display a diff between these two versions by clicking the “Show changes” button next to an unverified translation.

Verify Changes

The Changes feature is part of our Advanced plan and higher.

To see which translation was (un)verified by whom you can consult the translation history. It will not only show the content updates but also display a timeline of (un)verification actions.

Skipping automatic unverification

You can prevent automatic unverification by checking the “Skip verification” option when saving a translation. If specified, updating the translation will not cause all other translations to be marked as unverified.

This can be useful if you are just fixing a typo or formatting without changing the actual meaning of the (source) translation.

To skip the unverification process when uploading a file, you can use the skip_unverification flag.


To activate the review workflow for a language, simply activate “Unverify new translations” within the “Review” tab in your language settings.

If you also want to mark updated translations as unverified by default, you can also activate the “Unverify updated translations”.

Review Workflow

With review activated, all new (or updated) translations in that language will be marked as “unverified” which indicates manual verification is necessary.

This can be used to let developers introduce new keys to your project that contain a first draft as content in your default locale which shows the editor in your team that the text still needs to be refined.

It is also useful if you want to make sure translations in a certain language are always verified by a senior project manager/translator.

To verify a translation, simply filter for “Unverified translations” in the editor and verify each translation with a single click. The progress bar on the language overview and the project report will tell you when all translations are verified.

Why are there unverified translations in my language file?

We believe it is more important to release/deploy a translation that is not perfect over not releasing a translation at all (and thus displaying a translation your user cannot understand or - even worse - a placeholder).

That is why we do not exclude unverified translations when you download a language file from Phrase. Instead, we recommend to embrace a continuous localization approach and improve existing (especially unverified) translations on a regular basis without delaying a release of your product.