Mistakes of cross-culture design


Properly understanding other culture is uneasy. This is because of Cross-culture design usually made by the strangers. The designers observe foreign cultures and find out the necessity to the nation. In this process, Sometimes misunderstanding occurs, however it is inevitable. No matter how deeply designers look at it, they cannot be local people. Sometimes widely known common senses are wrong.

 First of all, I will show an example of a misunderstanding of naming brand abroad. What happens if brand name designs without cultural understanding? 

 The first time, Coca-cola advanced to China and the company named Coca-cola to Ke-ke-conla(蝌蝌啃蠟),  in Chinese version. It placed a priority on pronunciation, not on meaning. However, It was a huge mistake which did not understand Chinese. After the Coca-cola store opened, every Chinese thought the name is really strange. Ke-ke-conla means ‘tadpole graze a candle’ when it translates in Chinese. As a result, no one wanted to buy a coke at Coca-cola. Finally, they changed a name to Ke-ko-woo-kae-re(可口可乐), which means that ‘taste fit well, It makes happy to drink’. 

 This example shows the misunderstanding of culture is a danger. 


 The other example is a little bit funny. It is my personal experience. When I visited San Francisco, I went to the church and there was a small restaurant there. The restaurant makes a diverse menu for various nations in church and I finally, found the weird menu for Koreans. There was Kimchi hamburger. It just put Kimchi instead of collie flower. Maybe they try to make some menu for Koreans, so mixed two different menus. However, as a result, not only Americans but also Koreans did not eat that menu. I think It is kind of prejudge that every Koreans want to eat something well with Kimchi. If they want to make a new hamburger menu with Kimchi, should put another ingredient together which Koreans enjoy eating with Kimchi like Tofu, Bulgogi or egg…etc.​

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