Website Language Settings

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AJ28 emailed me from Japan, wondering why when he opens Google (or most any website), it automatically loads the Japanese page. He wonders if the browser automatically recognizes what IP he is connecting from and then determines the language to display.

Aj, you are sort of correct. You’re just a bit backwards in putting things together. Google (and other sites) look at the IP address you are connecting from, and then realizes your location based on that information. They will then serve up your site content in the native language of the country or area you are located. It’s web pages itself… not your browser… that is doing this.

Unfortunately, there really isn’t a way you can change things so that every site will automatically direct you to your native language, regardless of where in the world you happen to be at the time. Trying to do so could actually get you Swahili text when you’re in Taiwan, or German when you’re in the United States. There is a simple way to change the language preferences by site, especially for Google. Many sites may not have this function, though. According to Google themselves:

If you want to change your Google interface language without changing your browser’s accept-language preferences, you can set your Google language preferences manually on our “Language Options” page. However, setting language preferences this way does require that cookies be enabled.

And there you have it. I wish there were a better answer for you as far as making your computer automatically connect to pages in the one language you prefer. As far as I know, there is not. If anyone out there does know of such a way, please let me know!

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