Ireland's Fowl Eurovision Entry Doesn't Translate Well In Serbia

Non-European readers may not be familiar with the Eurovision Song Contest (lucky them). It’s a song contest between “European” countries held annually. It’s been going for years, a source of national pride as well as fairly duff music, and Ireland has won the thing loads of times. ABBA once won the contest for Sweden with a song about a train station in London, and Céline Dion once won it for Switzerland. It’s a big TV thing in Europe. This year the contest is being held in Belgrade, Serbia.

However, last night’s semi-final saw this year’s Irish entry – “Irelande Douze Pointe” performed by a stuffed turkey called Dustin – not only eliminated but actually booed by the audience. Of course, there was uproar in Ireland. Seems the smug Irish putting forward of a “joke entry” didn’t translate too well in a country that had been waiting years to hold this contest and saw it as a showcase for their country to the rest of the world. The hunt for the guilty has begun. 


In all, a very serious misjudgment by one of the world’s most globalized countries and a cultural lesson that humor doesn’t travel well and the perception of events varies by time and location.

It was a turkey of a song (http://youtube.com/watch?v=NYyxhWEHO3w) that really did deserve a good stuffing.

And I thought that Riverdance stuff was embarrassing.


Ultan Ó Broin
Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally. Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.

Related Articles

Weekly Digest

Subscribe to stay updated