6.29.2008

Sorry, We Don't Serve General Tso Chicken.


















Been reading a lot about China due to this year's Olympic games. Of all the foreign countries, I feel that Asian countries are the most foreign. China, Japan, Thailand...I just don't know much about them. And I feel very ignorant.

So I've taken a real interest in all the stories I've been reading. The most interesting I've seen so far is an article from CNN about how the Chinese are changing their restaurant menus in preparation for all the Westerners that want to try some real Chinese. Apparently, Chinese dishes are usually named based on appearance, while western dishes are typically descriptive of the food used and/or cooking method. American Example: fried chicken. Chinese Example: Chicken Without Sexual Life.

Doesn't sound too appetizing, huh? I didn't think so. And that's the Chinese government's fear as well. They have published a book of more western-like translations to help their visitors order. Instead of "Chicken Without Sexual Life" the translation would be "Steamed Pullet."

The other fear, however, is that changing the menus will lose the some of their unique flavor. The names of the dishes are meant to describe feelings associated with the food as well as the Chinese sense of humor. The new names make their menus boring.

So I'm not sure how branding or advertising has to do with any of this, but I found the cultural differences very interesting! Is there anything about your business that's generic and could use a Chinese name?

2 comments:

The Realest said...

I put up a sign at my desk that says, "This is my quadralateral area of professionalism". Cube farm just sounded too pedestrian.

Craigslist Automatic Poster said...

I am big fan of china . They have even cancelled registration of half milion vehicles in china , to reduce pollution. vsgbd