Playboy, Translated Into Hebrew

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The language of lust generally needs no translation, but at least with Playboy’s new Hebrew edition, Israelis can more plausibly claim they are reading it “for the articles.”

The first issue of “Playboy Israel” was released yesterday. It’s not just the language that’s been translated; the content has also been localized, with pictures of local models and articles by local writers.

Penthouse tried to expand its publishing empire into Israel in the late 80s, but it failed rather spectacularly. A review of its first edition from Israeli newspaper Haaretz (quoted here) said that it lacked “even basic intellectual content written in normal human language.”

Playboy Israel publisher Daniel Pomerantz believes that with better content, his magazine can succeed where Penthouse failed. At a press conference attended by CBS News, he told reporters:

“Israel is a very complicated country with tradition and modernity and also with serious things and fun fashionable things and that is exactly the character of Playboy. It is a complicated and beautiful magazine for a complicated and beautiful country…People will see just from the words Playboy Israel that we are a normal country, fashionable, modern, people who work every day with a passion and if you read Playboy magazine you see that it’s not just beauty and fashion but it’s also depth and politics and issues, people who care and think about the world they live in.”

Of course, the magazine still faces obstacles. For one thing, it’s a print magazine, and people are often more inclined to do their reading online these days. Another possible obstacle mentioned on CBS is the fact that a significant sector of the country finds even pictures of fully clothed women offensive. However, according to the Jerusalem Post, the Playboy brand is already popular in Israel, though it remains to be seen whether that will translate into magazine sales or not.


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