Philly Creative Guide

Creative Firm

Kathy Quinn

MTM LinguaSoft: Creativity in Any Language
by Kathy Quinn, 1 Nov 2009

Kathy Quinn is the Marketing Manager at MTM LinguaSoft. Kathy joined the staff of MTM LinguaSoft in June 2007 when she was looking for a fourth career. In her past lives, Kathy has been a lawyer, a professor of international relations, and part owner of a print shop.


When Myriam Siftar founded MTM LinguaSoft in 2003, her goal for the company was to become the mid-sized language services provider known for client satisfaction and information technology savvy. Since its founding, MTM LinguaSoft has met those goals, winning clients and kudos for high quality translation and no-hassle project management.

Today, MTM LinguaSoft provides translation, localization, multilingual typesetting and layout, interpretation and voice-over services for a wide range of companies that do business with international markets or in multilingual environments and is recognized as a specialist in the translation and globalization of websites, software and online applications, such as e-learning modules. This work made MTM the subject of a feature article in the May 30-June 5, 2008 issue of the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Kathy Quinn | Marketing Manager, MTM LinguaSoft

So why is MTM LinguaSoft in the spotlight as a creative firm? Isn't the creative work done before translation? Not to us. One of the reasons that the work here is continually fascinating for the staff is that challenges arise on a daily basis.

First of all, there is the act of translation itself. Finding just the right words to convey accurately the meaning of the original text, while making the translation fluent in the target language, is a real art, especially when it comes to things like marketing materials where persuasion is key. We use linguists with subject-matter expertise to handle the "transcreation" process to get the best results. Sometimes there are running debates over the translation of a particular word that doesn't seem quite right.

Kathy Quinn | Marketing Manager, MTM LinguaSoft

Foreign language typesetting and layout can also be a test of ingenuity. A text will typically increase in length, sometimes substantially, when it is translated from English into another language. If the original document was not prepared with this in mind, the typesetter may find it difficult to accommodate the new text in the layout. Or, think of having to change a layout to conform to a language like Arabic, which reads from right to left. Sometimes colors, graphics or font attributes may not be appropriate in another culture and we have to work with the customer to change the design.

Kathy Quinn | Marketing Manager, MTM LinguaSoft

And handling translations of interactive applications such as websites and software constantly test our technological ingenuity in dealing with the many different development platforms and character encoding involved.

There are a lot of other language service providers out there, but we pride ourselves on providing a high level of personal service, use of the latest translation technology, and a range of services and emphasis on quality superior to those that most other small firms are able to provide. Despite moments of stress, we generally relish the new challenges and the interesting linguistic and technical questions that continually arise.

Kathy Quinn | Marketing Manager, MTM LinguaSoft

The most interesting and challenging projects are those that require parallel work in a variety of languages and a combination of skills: like the World Trade Center Delaware website that we localized into seven languages, including Arabic and Vietnamese; or the community survey project for the Brooklyn Public Library system, which involved translation, desktop publishing, consecutive interpretation and phone surveys in five languages, including Haitian Creole; or an email marketing campaign for PIERS, an international trade data provider, in three languages, including Thai; or the e-learning localization for a pharmaceutical company in five languages, including Croatian. (Yes, we handle Spanish, French, German, etc., too.)

We meet these kinds of challenges on a regular basis. So, while we may not win the design prizes, we still consider ourselves artists.

Our cast of characters:

Kathy Quinn | Marketing Manager, MTM LinguaSoft

Myriam Siftar, President and founder
Kathy Quinn, Marketing Manager
Amy Kwasnicki, Project Manager
Enas Ibrahim, Vendor Manager

Print Article Brought to you by: Kathy Quinn | Marketing Manager, MTM LinguaSoft

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