SoundFridge, producer of voice-overs and audio production, is celebrating its 200th export project to China with an ESL (English as Second Language) delivery to the Absorbingly Academy in Chengdu.
Founded in 2016, SoundFridge has delivered more than 1,500 English-language projects to about 20 countries, including the U.S. mainland, Canada, the UK, Pakistan, India, Israel, Russia, Eastern Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, and more, said company owner Dalan Decker.
“It’s no secret that it can be tough to find a job in Puerto Rico these days,” said Decker. “I studied nursing here and got my Puerto Rico nursing license, but could not find a job in that field locally.”
“Yet my wife and I were determined to stay. And I wanted to continue studying. We launched SoundFridge to fund that,” he said.
When Hurricane María hit, the Guaynabo-based company continued producing voice-overs using a camping generator and sending the files via cellular phone.
“We did what we had to do, and God provided,” he said.
“I’ve known Dalan for over a year, and I’ve worked with dozens of voice actors,” says Frank Zhao, editor of Absorbingly Academy, Chengdu China. “I’ll always come back to him because he’s among the best and keeps improving.”
Absorbingly Academy creates English-as-a-second language courses for busy professionals in China, which are distributed via Chinese platforms such as Weibo and WeChat. The courses are fun and interactive, often dramatizing classics such as Dickens and Shakespeare, but with a Chinese twist.
With more than 200 million English speakers and learners in China, the market is growing rapidly. Dalan believes entrepreneurs in Puerto Rico can embrace the opportunities of reaching global markets.
“Many people are focused only on Puerto Rico and the United States,” he said. “If you want to make a widget in Puerto Rico and sell it in China, there are challenges with the Jones Act and so forth. But we are free to sell services anywhere,” he said.
“We have a wealth of local talent. For example, many Spanish-speaking clients need material in English for whatever reason, but they’re more comfortable buying from a person who also speaks Spanish,” Decker said.
When it comes to Spanish-language voice-overs specifically, the Puerto Rican accent is a major asset, he said.
“I see lots of international casting calls that request ‘neutral Spanish [from Spain] or Puerto Rican accent.’ I don’t see many calling for an accent from Honduras or Peru, for example,” Decker said.
SoundFridge clients range from everyday people looking to create a YouTube channel or publish their audio book, to corporate players including insurance, manufacturing, and food service.