Hidden Assets

MEDIAMAX translation service
1415 N. Dayton
Chicago 60622
654-0880; F: 645-0184

If General Motors executives had used the “localized” translation services of Mediamax, they would not have had red faces. After the introduction of the Chevy Nova in Mexico, they later learned that “nova” in Spanish means “doesn’t go. Jim Fultz, owner of Mediamax’s parent company, Alliance Group image systems manager, bought 11-year-old Language Services International last March, renamed it Mediamax and gave it an updated spin.

“We offer an approach that integrates the international communication process culturally, linguistically and technologically,” he states. “We make certain sponsor messages are always appropriate the audience they want to target.”

Translations are made into more than 25 languages and dialects for video voiceovers, CD and CD-ROM sales, education and training materials, explains director of strategic development, Brian Bouck.

A major client is McGraw-Hill for which a 40-person team is translating scripts for an educational CD-ROM that will be launched simultaneously in English and Spanish-speaking countries next year. Bouck expects the recording will take 40 hours this month.

The Chicago sales and marketing office employs three project managers and the Des Moines office, where translations are coordinated, has seven. The coordinators draw from a pool of 600 proficient translators who know how to “localize” the software into one or more culturally sensitive versions. They would not use a voiceover actor, for example, with a with strong local dialect when trying to reach a wide Japanese audience. “That’s like a person from the East Coast trying to sell corn in the Midwest.”

As such, Mediamax records two days a week “all the time,” says Bouck. Recordings usually take place at Trackwork Orange or Golan Recording.

The next Mediamax offices to open will be in Moscow and Buenos Aires.

SEPTEMBER 19, 1994
VOL 16 NO. 34
PG 14,15

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