According to these chaps here, for example, the reason why the likes of Google and various other imitators big and small use mostly GeoIP techniques for choosing the UI language, even overriding the mechanism provided by HTTP for this purpose, is that “people don't know how to change that setting”.
Can anybody please point me to:
- Quantitative research that shows that a majority of browser users do not know how to change language settings?
- Quantitative research that shows that, in a majority of cases, GeoIP based language negotiation is a better predictor than HTTP-based negotiation. This includes the possible use of techniques other than
Accept-Language, notably scanning the
User-Agentstring for cues as to the language of the browser interface and whether language preferences have been set to other than the default (e.g., multiple languages set in
Accept-Languageis a strong indicator that it has been explicitly set, as is having a language different than that deduced from
- Qualitative research showing that the implications of getting it wrong with these GeoIP based methods are not worse than getting it wrong via HTTP negotiation? A typical example is when different linguistic communities live in the same State or share the same IP block, such as users based in Switzerland, Finland, Norway (bokmål vs nynorsk), etc. In some cases, this may provoke a fairly hostile reaction from the user, e.g., a Flemish-speaking user in Belgium, or a Catalan-speaking user in Spain.
The above questions deal with the initial choice of language for a new visitor. It does not concern the many other situations when one must deal with language negotiation after first contact, such as:
- Registered users who have specified language preferences in their profile.
- Return visitors who have explicitly or implicitly made a language choice.
- Multilingual users (i.e., a majority of us in the EU and anecdotally, in the world) who at any point may switch between various versions of a multilingual site for a variety of reasons.