Do people generally have different language preferences, whether we are talking Operating System, Phone or Website?

My own preference is:

  • Operating System: English
  • Phone: Native Language
  • Website: Native Language

For some reason, an Operating System is English for me. I get the heebie-jeebies from the idea of a non-English OS. The reasons I can think of are:

  • Operating Systems were all English when I started with computers
  • Command lines are still all English
  • Windows language couldn't be changed after installation (may have changed for newer versions)
  • Windows menu/keyboard shortcuts are localized (which drove me nuts in my Windows days)

Is there any research showing that language preferences depend on context, or is this just me?

  • My preferences: Computer OS: English, Phone OS: English, Websites: Native, Most web apps: English. Mainly because using English keeps the used terminology clear, consistent and easy to search help on. Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 10:51

2 Answers 2


I have similar preferences, but my choice of English language for my operating system stems from the fact that not all 3rd party applications are localized, and I'd rather have everything in one language, than a bit of each.

It's also easier to find/provide tech support (on Stack Exchange, for the nearest example)

It's true that Windows display language can be changed in the newer versions, though.

All Windows 8 editions allow it, additionally the feature was present in Windows Vista and 7 Ultimate editions.

Sorry I can't provide any research on the subject, if that's the only thing you were interested in... this part of your question only kicked in when I had already answered.


Tech unsavvy people clearly prefer all their devices in their native language, otherwise they wouldn't understand a thing. Let's be honest, just tech savvy people are often comfortable with English. Not vice versa.

  • 2
    Is this your opinion or is there data that backs up your answer? Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 15:21
  • I think it's a valid point that tech savvy people are partial to English.
    – forthrin
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 20:38
  • @labuschin man! you don't know Chinese or Koreans ... ;) possibly, you are right about the countries that use latin alphabets as written script.
    – kmonsoor
    Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 7:16

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