Google Localisation Gone Mad

As part of Google’s localization push, the search engine will figure from your IP address what country you’re in and configure itself accordingly into a local site, with a local country suffix, and, sometimes, local language options. Fair enough, except for travellers and people who are quite happy with things as they are.

Running Google in Hong Kong, for example, throws up pages on a www.google.com.hk page that, without asking first, look like this:

Google

With literally no English language entries on there, or any way to change the language back from Chinese, on the results page or the preferences page. In fact, I cannot figure out how to change it back at all. So I’m moving over to Clusty, at least for now. Help, anyone?

03. April 2005 by jeremy
Categories: Search | Tags: , , , , | 2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. If you view the HTML source on the Preferences page, you can find the “en” option in the checkbox on the Preferences page. Unfortunately, it is in the middle, so there is no easy way to quickly select it. Fortunately, it only has two question marks, so with a bit of trial and error, you can find it.

    An alternate solution might be to use http://www.google.com.hk/en whenever you are in Hong Kong.

  2. When I go to:

    http://www.google.com.hk

    I see the following on the page:

    “Google.com.hk 還提供: English”

    Selecting the hyperlinked “English” changes most of the text on the page to, uh, English. Then, one can go to the Preferences settings and change relevant options to English. Does that not show up on the page you see?

    I have this same problem in Germany. Google *always* sends me to Google.de. I eventually changed all of the defaults I could find to “English,” but occaisionally I still get things in German — and, almost all of the ads are in German or for German products.