Okay a New Pet Peeve

lost_in_translation_ostSome web sites try to be helpful and they end up screwing you.  Today I logged into MySpace and because my connection must be routed via some Spanish ISP MySpace decided that I would like to see the site in Spanish.  But the best part is that I’m logged in and clicked a link that opened up my email so they know damn well that I’ve only ever used the site in English.  My Spanish isn’t all that great but I can guess many of the things but damn if I can find how to turn the settings back to English because . . . all the navigation is in Spanish!!!  I finally had to go to Google and find instructions on Yahoo on how to change my MySpace back to English.  Oh, and it’s very intuitive.  The US has two language options:  Spanish and EEUU.  EEUU??  Turns out that EEUU is English. 

The same thing happened to me last week when I was in Amsterdam.  I go to do a Google search and Google has decided that even though I’m logged in and have always used English settings that I suddenly would prefer to see their site in Dutch.  Now, my Spanish isn’t great but my Dutch is non-existent.  I guess the one good thing about Google is that they have so few navigation links that it’s easy to remember where to click on to get to language settings.  But if I was your average guy on business in Holland I would be screwed. 

Same has happened to me in Thailand which is even worse because the entire site ends up being in Thai script.  Try navigating your way around that.  

If they’re going to auto-serve you content based on where the traffic originates they should have a very prominent way to change your language settings. 

Okay, I feel better now.  I had to get that out of my system.  :-)