Mark Ohlsen’s LRS, Chicago’s largest audio studio specializing in foreign languages, has a roster of 265 foreign-speaking voiceovers, who can deliver 30 different languages?from commonly called-for Spanish to obscure Laotian Mong.
Hundreds of Fortune 500 companies that need the appropriate language translation for their far-flung employees’ E-learning programs are his clients.
Ohlsen estimates LRS has translated/recorded some 3,000 programs?or an awesome 136 jobs a year?since starting the company in 1985 with first-and-continuing client McDonald’s.
“The paradigm has shifted in corporate communications toward online programming,” he explains. “Businesses are driving computer-based training for their employees away from video. The good thing for me is you still need audio.”
E-learning consultants Bersin & Associates estimates the online training marketplace is worth more than $9 billion. “E-Learning is no longer just an exciting new idea, it is now a mainstream approach to corporate training and communications,” they say.
Translation/recordings of any script, including technical and industry-specific jargon, comprise 90% of LRS’ business. The other 10% is lip syncing voices, and adding accurate translations of titles, including captioning, text and graphics.
Currently underway is the translation of Disney training modules into Spanish, Vietnamese and Haitian-Creole using native-born translators and narration talent.