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Question Help me understand dumb language default setting on websites

YuliApp

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Dec 27, 2017
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Maybe i am a dumb girl just not getting it but why more or less every website, even high profile like Paypal, Amazon, Google rely IP geolocation to preselect default language setting and not on browser's own preferred locals?
Some even without option to permanently override?

On my server and more or less every project i did, i use the browser setting. Got very few complains, mainly from techies who use english browser in foreign countries. But even i do run very often into issues.

Example, i am in Spain, browser, operating system, everything is in German and English (both versions and combinations of it like German Windows but English Browser). Yet i go to Paypal or many any other sites suggesting me Spanish language (which i do not master).

Another issue. My remote PC has (for whatever reasons) IP recognized as ukrainian and i get permanently suggested russian or ukraininan localizations. Especially google annoys the heck out of me as i even asked to get override, and it was denied. Server sits in Germany same as the whole IP block.

I cannot be the only one, especially with so many people moving between countries? What am I missing?

This is very anoying and i see no reason behind it from both logical and programmer's point of view?
 

piokos

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Nov 2, 2018
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From a practical POV:
Because many websites serve location-specific content (advertising, news, sales) that may be available in just the local language (at very least: local language is the most taken care of).
So it's just more convenient and may lead to a more coherent web layout.

Also, most people simply don't set browser locale. Serving content based on their IP probably gives better results on average.

From coding POV:
Locale information is not unified, it's sometimes served in a messy way and many clients just don't provide it at all.
IP is always present and the whole process is browser-independent.
 

YuliApp

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hm interesting. Thank you for feedback.

Never thought it would be issue. All current webbrowsers support and set it correctly (messy way but easy to deal with). Even IE.

Makes sense with advertising probably.
 

mxnerd

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Jul 6, 2007
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It's because nowadays almost all big websites use CDN (Content Delivery Network or Content Distribution Network ) to use your IP address to determine the visitor's geolocation and deliver localized contents to you.

Most websites allow you to choose country/language easily in the past, now a lot of websites remove that option.

It's very annoying and I hate it too. The only way to overcome this probably is to use VPN to change your location.
 
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YuliApp

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It's because nowadays almost all big websites use CDN (Content Delivery Network or Content Distribution Network ) to use your IP address to determine the visitor's geolocation and deliver localized contents to you.

Most websites allow you to choose country/language easily in the past, now a lot of websites remove that option.

It's very annoying and I hate it too. The only way to overcome this probably is to use VPN to change your location.
yes especially when they let you chose the language anyway so the content is on the CDN probably anyway, but login site without option to switch language? Really stupid.
I think i will not stop doing my practice unless somebody shows me some statistic that 10% of more have wrong content language on the webbrowser.
 

piokos

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Nov 2, 2018
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yes especially when they let you chose the language anyway so the content is on the CDN probably anyway, but login site without option to switch language? Really stupid.
I think i will not stop doing my practice unless somebody shows me some statistic that 10% of more have wrong content language on the webbrowser.
There's absolutely nothing wrong in adding such functionality if it doesn't harm your business or whatever. Do it if you want.

But if a website wants to serve specific content to people from Spain, it'll use the IP. There's just no way locale would lead to higher success ratio.

Imagine a situation where someone lives in Spain, sets browser UI language to English and doesn't set locale to Spanish (for whatever reason: he doesn't know about it, he forgot, the browser doesn't support it).
All his websites would initially open in English. I bet he will very much like the fact that IP is used over locale ("locale? what is that?"). :)

I've just asked 7 friends and just one of them has locale set to where he lives. And some of them knew about the functionality - they just never had to use it.
You can ask around too. :)

Anyway, as long as there's a switch on the website, it's still just an inconveniency (albeit IMO fairly severe).

Sometimes developers go too far.
My health care provider has an Android app which uses the system-wide language setting - and there is no option to change it.
I live in Poland, but all my devices are set to English.
So, obviously, all the medical specializations and treatments are in English - I understand maybe 1/3 of the list.
But more importantly (and I've already reported it twice ;)), it only shows me the doctors that speak English. Which means the only sensible way to schedule an appointment is through the website. :)
 
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YuliApp

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as far as i know, when you install localized version of the browser and or have the operating system language or localization se to german or spanish or whatever the browser locale settings is then in german and spanish.

So it would/should only affect geeks who have english windows and never switch their preffered locale on the webbrowser?

All who reported me the issue were consistent with my finding so far. All of them were geeks, installing browser by them self and picking english version (even when from Germany).
 

YuliApp

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I've just asked 7 friends and just one of them has locale set to where he lives. And some of them knew about the functionality - they just never had to use it.
You can ask around too.
but i suppose they do not have english webbrowser do they? That was my point. That only techies usually use different than standard operating system language and apps. And when i install firefox in spanish, it sets the locale (preffered language) to spanish
 

piokos

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Nov 2, 2018
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So it would/should only affect geeks who have english windows and never switch their preffered locale on the webbrowser?

All who reported me the issue were consistent with my finding so far. All of them were geeks, installing browser by them self and picking english version (even when from Germany).
You can't change Chrome language on Android (not sure about other browsers and iOS). It uses the system-wide language setting.

Also, there's really nothing "geeky" about setting software language to something other than your native one.
First and foremost: not every language is supported in every application.
And sometimes people change it for whatever non-geeky reason. For example: many people do it when learning a new language.

But most importantly: most apps are written in English and translated to other languages. Which mean they work in English and may or may not work in whatever else. (That's why everything I use is set to English).
A normal, non-geeky person, may accept living with an English interface even when they barely know the language. You need maybe a 100 words for casual use of Windows or Android.
The same person may NOT accept living with an interface in their native language, when it's unreadable or irritating. So they'll actually learn how to change it to English, which doesn't make them geeks. ;)
 

YuliApp

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Dec 27, 2017
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You can't change Chrome language on Android (not sure about other browsers and iOS). It uses the system-wide language setting.

Also, there's really nothing "geeky" about setting software language to something other than your native one.
First and foremost: not every language is supported in every application.
And sometimes people change it for whatever non-geeky reason. For example: many people do it when learning a new language.

But most importantly: most apps are written in English and translated to other languages. Which mean they work in English and may or may not work in whatever else. (That's why everything I use is set to English).
A normal, non-geeky person, may accept living with an English interface even when they barely know the language. You need maybe a 100 words for casual use of Windows or Android.
The same person may NOT accept living with an interface in their native language, when it's unreadable or irritating. So they'll actually learn how to change it to English, which doesn't make them geeks. ;)
ok but we are not talking about Dutch or Korean windows, but German, Spanish?
But i am starting to see the reasoning behind it, thank you.

Still not sure what is better option to add geolocation or more prominent language change option.
 

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