Lost in Translation

One of the funny things about humans is how culture-driven we are. Why is that? Wouldn’t it be a great Darwinian advantage to simply blend in anywhere? But no, we all grew up in a certain place and that place will determine how we interpret things throughout our entire lives.
As an American living in Poland, I see things very differently from the people around me and nothing illustrates that difference more than marketing campaigns.
Marketing campaigns throw out countless numbers of images and phrases per month and, usually, they all bear the signature of their culture of origin.
How would you interpret the following products found in Polish grocery store?

Never go anywhere without your Foxy Asso paper towels.

Would you eat this man’s yogurt? Scary man yogurt?

Maybe you’d like to sample cosmetics with the reassuring name of ‘Success Eye Tech’? Much improved from the earlier ‘No Success Eye Tech’.

And finally, you might want to have a make-over. Just not one like this.

The differences in language and culture make for funny comparisons, but I love living in Krakow and having a business here. No matter how well I can speak the language, however, I’ve come to realize that I’m always going to interpret things as an American. Sometimes that makes it funny. Sometimes that makes it lonely, but ultimately, living outside your own culture is the adventure of a lifetime J


  1. I'm on break at work, and had to stop drinking my coffee or risk choking from laughter. Foxy Asso and Scary Man Yoghurt really did me in.

  2. Morgan - fun post! I love the toilet paper and yogurt! You must keep a journal of this stuff - I can see you developing it into an article for a magazine. You've mentioned many other things to me as well - that are utterly fascinating. ;)

  3. I've had the same cultural challenges just moving within this country. :)

  4. Hey Morgan

    First of all, I'm sorry I didn't say welcome when you joined the Divas, so - Welcome!!

    Lol at your post! Culture can be quirky, innit? For my degree I have to do lots of advertising modules and this has always shown me how strange cultural bias is especially where adverts are concerned! Sometimes you do get a really good laugh! There's one TV show I love to watch here on French channel Canal+ called The Year of Adverts (that's the translation from French, btw!). Ads from all over the world, over a whole evening. Really cool and sometimes, funnier than Simon Pegg, Jack Black and Steve Coogan all brought together!



  5. Too funny, Morgan! I agree with Jo. Pitch to Oprah! She'd love it.
    Your pics had me laughing too.

  6. I'm glad to have brought a few smiles. The funniest things are the commercials sometimes and its tough to capture those. I'm sure I'll be doing a "Lost in Translation 2" as more products catch my eye. Tough to beat Foxy Asso though :-)

  7. Verrrry funny!! Not just Oprah, but how about David Letterman? They're always looking for kooky stuff to feature. Maybe they'll fly you out to show the products on the show. *grin*

    Scary Man Yogurt! Foxy Asso towels!! How fascinating to live in a different culture. Great post!



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