Lost in Locali[s|z]ation

You just touched down at the Australian National Airport. You’re champing at the bit to experience the fully sick country you’ve heard so much about. But before you disembark, or just plain deplane, here’s a couple of warnings.

First off, we Aussies speak English with a conspicuous lack of any accent. Such phonetic purity can be disorienting at first to visitors, like you, who’ve spent their lives immersed in a national or regional dialect. After your awe wears off, however, another culture shock awaits: the brands you trust are nowhere to be seen! (If it makes you feel any better, newly-paroled Aussies suffer exactly the same disappointment on arrival in non-Australian territory, mutatis mutandis.)

But The Berg has good news for a change. Yes, you read that right, reader: it’s not as bad as you thought.

The truth is, all the big names are still around—they’ve just been renamed. Here are the corporate Australianisms that trip most people up on their maiden voyage Down Here.

International English Australian English
Burger King His Majesty The Royal Burger Consort
Latin Fever Convulsions: The Nightclub
Chunder’s™ Indian Restaurant Chandarsubramania with Chef Chandarsubramaniam
Cheap Dragon BYOB Eat-In N Takeout Niggardly Dragon BYO Dine In & Takeaway*
Fuddruckers® Fevinkuckers®
Schindler’s Elevators SchinLiftCorp LLC
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Harry Potter and the Philosophy Midterm
Asian in a Storage Container Thai in a Box
Hooters, Inc., Family Restaurants Ample Tips or Bust!
La Giardia Italian Eat’N’Dash La Giardia Gastro Pubs
The Drug Lord The Chemist King

For better or worse (and we can safely rule out the former), there’s nothing much any of us can do about this megacorporate habit. According to a 2015 survey in Business Weekly, the top 5 excuses cited for rebranding were:

• political correctness gone perfectly sensible
• to avoid any risk of  hilarity in a world that’s more deeply divided along dialectical fault-lines than ever
• to respect local ethnic, religious and cultural groups, especially the violent ones
• because leading US brands “look funny” if seen from the left side of the road
• forget everything you thought you knew about chicken that was fried in Kentucky ■


*This pioneer and icon of Sino-Yiddish fusion cuisine traded as The Jewish Dragon until 1972, when the owners finally bowed to community outkvetch and switched to the name we’re all familiar with today.

 

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