Posts tagged “localization”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Second City Customizes a Show for Rochester [NYTimes.com] – [Successful experiment where a comedy troupe immerses in local culture, then creates a show that resonates locally but still holds true to their existing brand of humor. Playing in Peoria, indeed!] They arrived in October for a 4-day insider’s tour of Rochester, The 16-hour days (built around writing time) included dinners with politicians and radio personalities, a tour of the Genesee beer brewery, a meeting with students at Bishop Kearney High School and a foray to the public market. “We tried not to do too much tourist stuff,” Mr. Furman said. “Ideally we shop and eat and go where the residents do.”…Early table-reads of the script brought a promising sign: the director, Jim Carlson, who knew nothing of Rochester, didn’t get a lot of the jokes. “I knew, based on the rhythms, where the punch lines were, but I didn’t understand them."

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Vermont's first IHOP gets permission to go beyond standard franchise menu and offer Vermont maple syrup – “You can’t open up a Vermont pancake shop without Vermont maple syrup,” said Sam Handy Jr., who is the restaurant’s general manager and whose family owns the franchis
  • Symbols of pot-subculture on the threshold of the mainstream – The significance of April 20 dates to a ritual begun in the early 1970s in which a group of Northern California teenagers smoked marijuana every day at 4:20 p.m. Word of the ritual spread and expanded to a yearly event in various places. For fans of the drug, perhaps the biggest indicator of changing attitudes is how widespread the observance of April 20 has become, including its use in marketing campaigns for stoner-movie openings (like last year’s “Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantánamo Bay”) and as a peg for marijuana-related television programming (like the G4 network’s prime-time double bill Monday of “Super High Me” and “Half Baked”). Events tied to April 20 have “reached the tipping point in the last few years after being a completely underground phenomenon for a long time,” said Steven Hager, the creative director and former editor of High Times. “And I think that’s symptomatic of the fact that people’s perception of marijuana is reaching a tipping point.”
  • Chinese government database doesn't recognize all the language's characters, creating 60 million edge cases – New Chinese government computers are programmed to read only 32,252 of the roughly 55,000 Chinese characters. At least 60 million Chinese with obscure characters in their names cannot get new ID cards — unless they change their names to something more common. Since 2003 China has been working on a standardized list of characters for people to use in everyday life, including when naming children. A government linguistics said the list would include more than 8,000 characters. Although that is far fewer than the database now supposedly includes, the official said it was more than enough “to convey any concept in any field.” About 3,500 characters are in everyday use.

Happy Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is a North American holiday where the time until spring is determined by whether or not a specific groundhog sees his shadow.

Like horror hosts and chocolate bars, if you grew up with a local groundhog, you probably assumed that everyone had the same one. But Wikipedia (link above) dashes that illusion by listing a number of region-specific forecasting rodents:

Punxsutawney Phil of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
Wiarton Willie of Wiarton, Ontario
Staten Island Chuck of New York City, New York
General Beauregard Lee, PhD of Atlanta, Georgia
Malverne Mel and Malverne Melissa of Malverne, New York
Brandon Bob of Brandon, Manitoba
Balzac Billy of Balzac, Alberta
Shubenacadie Sam of Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia
Gary the Groundhog of Kleinburg, Ontario
Spanish Joe of Spanish, Ontario
Sir Walter Wally of Raleigh, North Carolina
Pardon Me Pete of Tampa, Florida
Jimmy the Groundhog of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
Octoraro Orphie of Quarryville, Pennsylvania
Buckeye Chuck of Marion, Ohio
Dunkirk Dave of Dunkirk, New York
French Creek Freddie of Upshur County,West Virginia
Holtsville Hal of Long Island, New York

(previously)

Die Hard 4.0: Die Hard Goes Global

diehard.jpg
Die Hard 4.0 poster, Taipei

It’s not news that movies are released with different titles in other markets. Still, it was curious to see a familiar product under a slightly different brand. Live Free or Die is an American slogan, and so outside North America, perhaps Live Free or Die Hard doesn’t work as well as a title (perhaps the American-ness is not as appealing, or there is less recognition of the reference).

IMDB lists the different titles (and working titles) around the world.

Die Hard 4.0    Australia / Denmark / Finland / Japan / Netherlands / Sweden / UK / USA (working title)
Duro de matar 4.0    Argentina / Mexico / Peru / Venezuela
Die Hard 4    USA (working title)
Die Hard 4: Die Hardest    USA (working title)
Die Hard: Reset    USA (working title)
Die Hard: Tears of the Sun    USA (working title)
Die hard – Vivere o morire    Italy
Die hard 4 – Legdr?°g?°bb az életed    Hungary
Die hard 4 – Retour en enfer    France
Duro de Matar 4.0    Brazil
Jungla 4.0, La    Spain
Poly skliros gia na pethanei 4.0     Greece
Smrtonosná pasca 4.0    Slovakia
Stirb langsam 4.0    Germany
Szklana pulapka 4.0    Poland
Umri muski 4.0     Serbia
Vis libre ou crève    Canada (French title)
Visa hing 4    Estonia
Zor ölüm 4.0    Turkey (Turkish title)

Making the familiar unfamiliar, or traveling the continuum of appetizing-ness

While in Japan, in a Mitsukoshi food hall, we came across Konopizza, pizza (and desserts!) in a cone.
kono.jpg

It’s not just a Japanese company, and they are aiming for the English speaking market with “the future of pizza, the pizza of the future.” I have seen the future of pizza and its name is Kono? Personally, I hope not. Think about biting into one and managing the mass of bubbling cheese goo. I foresee burning messy gagging.

Here are some variations on the hot dog from Ginza.
hotdogandstickpizza.jpg
Coney dog, okay. Cheese dog, sure. Bacon potato, I dunno?

seasonhotdogs.jpg
Egg? Zucchini? These are rather elegant reinterpretations of the serviceable wiener, but they read so unappealing and dissonant. I’m all for elegant reinterpretations of fast food but these struck me as very foreign (granted, I was the foreigner, trying to find the symbols of home in another environment).

Stay tuned for our Taiwan snack food experiences.

And one more that I’ve been hanging onto for a very long time. Family Boat appears to be a concept restaurant, with a website intended to appeal to investors and future franchisees. They’ve opened one pilot store in Holland. The concept is all around providing food in “boats.”

potato-boat-chicken-mushroom.jpg
Potatoboats

beef.jpg
Sandwichboats

icecream02.jpg
Ice boats

Lots of designy stuff on the site as well:
img_vending.jpg

Anyone ever tried any of these foods? What do you think?

Kawaii Superheroes

marvel_kawaii.jpg
We saw these kawaii decals for sale in Tokyo. According to the in-store display, they are intended for mobile phones and iPods, but could go on anything.

I was amazed to see the familiar and consistent visual brands of Marvel superheroes so dramatically localized, reflecting the Japanese kawaii (“cute”) aesthetic by infantilizing Wolverine, Spiderman, and the Hulk.

The World According To Sesame Street

Last night I started watching The World According To Sesame Street. I say started, because while it was interesting, it wasn’t all that entertaining, and I eventually gave up. The film deals with the various international co-productions they’ve set up in other countries, and how they tune their tried-and-tested approach to the various local cultures by involving people from those cultures to create with them. The idea of the film is fantastic, but it was a little too heavy on the earnestness, looking at how wonderful these places are despite all their hardship due to poverty, civil war, or AIDS. It may have just been my mood, though.

Great quote about their process:

Because of the way that we work which is to basically to repeat the experiment that we did in the United States in 1968, which is identifying what the needs are and then coming up with some sort of curriculum that addresses those needs, and then bringing together researchers and creative people to produce a show that does, we rely very heavily on local people.

Here are some images of various versions of the show in different countries.

movie_frame00010.jpg

movie_frame00008.jpg

movie_frame00021.jpg

movie_frame00017.jpg

movie_frame00015.jpg

movie_frame00006.jpg

movie_frame00019.jpg

movie_frame00012.jpg

movie_frame00014.jpg

movie_frame00005.jpg

Groundhog Day

This story lists a few groundhogs-of-note that I was not previously acquainted with…Shubenacadie Sam, Wiarton Willie (him I knew about), and Balzac Billy. Other pages mention Brandon Bob, and Staten Island Chuck and Gary the Groundhog. The man with two watches never knows what time it is?

Seriously it’s turning into one of those painted-cow-things that every city has to do now. Yuck.

Series

About Steve