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Delivering against demanding turnaround times without compromising on quality

MTV, one of the leading global digital brands, has been a cultural icon for a generation. Part of the Viacom Empire, the company has transcended its origins to create a network of channels and programming appropriate for a truly global youth audience.

The challenge

MTV needed us to take their message global via their multiple digital channels, including the international website, games and dedicated landing pages, while making sure that all translations reflect the unique style, tone and values of the brand.

MTV has a very specific tone of voice and is communicating with an audience which has probably the fastest evolving use of language of any demographic. We only need to think of new words such as “twerking” and “selfie” to see the need to stay at the forefront of local language development and adapt their global sites to fit the changing culture of their audiences.

Since our relationship began in 2005, there has almost been a totally new lexicon of language to manage, partly related to the explosion of social media with Twitter, Facebook et al.

But also because younger audiences have always been testing and stretching the boundaries of language.

In addition, a lot of their projects were highly time-sensitive. Since they didn’t want any lag between the English and foreign language versions, many projects had very hard deadlines.

So, MTV needed a partner who could deliver against demanding turnaround times without compromising on quality. They also required an appropriate style and tone of voice, and full project support, so they could be confident in outsourcing their language services.

The solution

First, we used the MTV style and corporate guide as a basis for the language versions of their sites, so the teams knew exactly what was expected of them.

We then created a group of dedicated translation teams, through a process of test translations, so that MTV could choose the linguists who most closely represented the tone they needed. They were all briefed on the brand requirements and obviously used the style guide as an initial basis for their work.

We incorporated an in-country client reviewer for each language in our workflows, so that we could capture their feedback in a dynamic way.

We also made sure that all of MTV’s dedicated linguists were based in the country the translations were intended for, so they had full immersion in the local language and were up-to-date with current usage.

We assigned a dedicated project team who work across all MTV projects. Not only does this provide continuity for our client but, most importantly, the Project Managers knew exactly what was expected for each project and were able to deliver the required quality against hard deadlines.

The result

Despite the challenges inherent in what MTV needed, the fact that we are approaching our 12th anniversary working for them and have translated into 20 different language combinations tells its own story.

We have managed to deliver all MTV’s requirements: capturing the appropriate tone for their numerous language versions and meeting those testing deadlines time after time, while bringing in new teams for new languages as required using the successful template we created.


“We have been extremely happy with the service, speed and accuracy of Lingo24’s translations. They have been dedicated to our projects and have never let us down. Their Project Management team is friendly, efficient and a pleasure to work with!”

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