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As an expatriate I am sometime looking for a product that is similar (or ideally the same) to a product I use to have it in my home country. It could be some food, drugs, etc. Is there any online place (website, phone application, etc.) to find product correspondences?

If country-dependent, I am mostly interested in (home country = France; current location = USA).

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  • Are you talking about the particular brands? – Karlson Oct 16 '14 at 20:02
  • @Karlson Any brand. I know the exact brand/composition/etc of some products in France, I'm trying to find similar ones in the US. Looking at the producer's website is often not enough. – Franck Dernoncourt Oct 16 '14 at 20:50
  • I don't think there is a compiled list of equivalents. There are ways you can find by category within app store or active ingridient if you consider drugs, but there are no brand equivalence lists exist simply because there are too many possible relationships or in case of drugs there are certain ingridients that are allowed in Europe and elsewhere that are not allowed in the US. – Karlson Oct 16 '14 at 21:43
  • @Karlson Thanks, maybe there exist some website, phone application, etc. to ask this kind of questions (I don't think this SE is a fit)? – Franck Dernoncourt Oct 16 '14 at 21:49
  • Unlikely. Take a look at the list of brand names for Paracetamol(Acetominophen) worldwide: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_paracetamol_brand_names – Karlson Oct 17 '14 at 1:58
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Often it comes down to trademarks in the country, which is why Burger King is mostly known as Hungry Jack's in Australia.

However, while I doubt there's a definitive list out there, Wikipedia does have a page named List of generic and genericized trademarks, which if you scroll down to "List of protected trademarks frequently used as generic terms", a lot of the terms are there - like Biro vs ballpoint, chapstick/lipbalm. This is a situation (most famously 'Hoover') where a country has adopted the brand name instead of the name of the product - a dream for marketing, arguably. So when someone asks for a Kleenex (brand) they may just mean any "tissue".

This threw me when I moved to New Zealand and was asked for a 'Biro'. I'd never heard that term before.

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I don't think you will find this information neatly organized in an app or a database but there are other, less geeky, resources that might help.

There is often a local expats' web forum where people trade brand names or addresses. I also know of one or two books explaining things like the local cuts of meat, where you can find some foodstuff, etc. in my current country so something like that might also be available where you live.

One example from Europe would be thelocal.com. It's a newspaper that branched out in several countries and now offers online news and a forum for English-speaking expats. To find something similar, I would first look for something like “Francophones à Boston” or “Français du Massachusetts” on Google and start from there.

It's more expensive and cumbersome but another resource I found useful are cookbooks, both local books with some explanations on ingredients (there is even a book from Australia called Ingredients which has been translated into several languages) and books about the cuisine from your own culture (with explanations intended for the locals about the products you are already familiar with, including suggestions for substitution).

Finally, for drugs, looking up the name you know on Google or Wikipedia to find out the name of the molecule then opening the relevant article on the English-language version of Wikipedia usually works.

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