Geert JM Vanderkelen

Most popular websites are just broken: no language option!

Most popular websites are just broken: no language option!

So, I’m in Poland right now. I check my Google account: it’s in Polish. No way to set it in English, though my browser preferences are set so. You would have thought smart people work at Google, right? No, the broken way to set language: based on IP address. What’s even more idiotic is the fact that you can’t actually change to English (or your favorite language). (see screenshot)

Google, I like your services, but this one totally disappointed me. With all the smart people working there, not one figured out that people actually travel?

To all other websites that just switch language based on IP Address: my thumbs down! Show at least a language option! (Lots do BTW)

4 thoughts on “Most popular websites are just broken: no language option!

  1. Nick

    I tried what you said and currently I'm in spain but the website shows up neatly in Dutch (my preferred language..)

    So I think you have a setting in your google account that asks you which language you prefer?

  2. Geert JM Vanderkelen

    @Nick:
    I hope they have, but try to find it on a website in <unknown-language-to-you> :)
    Anyway, I changed the URL a bit, but haven't found such setting yet.
    A link saying "English version", or a drop down with possible languages would have been nice, or?

  3. Tor-Ivar

    There is even a GOOGLE TECH TALK about the proper way to do localization.

    This blog post has that talk linked. http://twopieceset.blogspot.com/2007/10/google-tech-talk-plurilingualism-on.html

    I think that guy even works for Google and he mentions: "Google develops software with a global reach, and we put a lot of care into trying to make sure users get our products in the right languages; but this quote was an interesting reminder that getting it wrong can provide a very negative experience for a particular user. Right now, for example, we use IP address as a factor in determining which version of Google search to show."

    You'd think they'd sorted it out 2+ years after that talk, and this employee's eureka, but noooo…

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