What’s in a name? Often when people hear that our company is called LanguageFlow, they think “language, ah, they’re a translation agency” … but we’re not! Yes, we can arrange translations for you. Yes, we have a great deal of experience of working with translations and translators. Yes, we know how to get a quality translation and how to ensure translations are consistent across multiple projects. But we're not a translation agency. Or at least, translation is not our core business.
Brochures are translated, catalogues are translated, sales literature, manuals. The words in those pieces of literature are translated, but you don’t have a French brochure or an Italian brochure or a German brochure until those translated words are laid out in the designed brochure. That is done in Adobe InDesign or Quark XPress. It is that laying out of translations in InDesign that is our core business.
We called our company LanguageFlow, and the custom software we use in-house LanguageFlow, because with that software we can lay out translations in InDesign very efficiently – we ‘flow’ translations into InDesign documents.
How should we describe our company? “A multilingual desktop publishing company”? Maybe. InDesign and Quark XPress ARE dtp programs. But desktop publishing, dtp, always conjures up pictures of vicars producing parish magazines from their studies or school teachers producing programmes for the end-of-term concert. Not necessarily the highest-quality printed literature (though not to denigrate the abilities of vicars or school teachers!).
“A multilingual typesetting company”? Better. The word typesetting certainly suggests a skilled craft, and I believe that in our company we have some of the most skilled InDesign operators in the country. But typesetting, at least typesetting on typesetting machines, died in the 80s and 90s with the dtp revolution (regrettably, perhaps, because skills – the skill of properly laying out type – were often lost in the process).
“A multilingual localisation company”. Perhaps. Whilst typesetting is our core business, the localisation of literature does involve more than that. Our highly skilled and highly experienced InDesign operators are backed up by our highly skilled and highly experienced project managers – when it comes to managing multilingual projects they completely know the pitfalls to avoid and have certainly ‘seen it all before’!
Perhaps we just have to accept that as a specialised company working in a specialised area of the market there is no convenient, simple, catch-all way to describe ourselves!