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Windows 8 language confusion

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  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    As some of you know, I'm a Dutch guy living in Japan, and I use an English version of Windows.

    I use Dutch regional settings, and I typically use Dutch (US-International), English (US-International), and Japanese (Microsoft IME) input languages.

    If there's anything I hate, it's applications that assume that because my regional settings are Dutch, the UI should be in Dutch (even though the Windows UI language is English). Even worse is applications that have no option to change that.

    Windows 8 seems to add a new spin on that. When you select Dutch regional settings during installation, it sets Dutch as the only input language (this is fine and expected).

    But certain apps seem to take their language settings from the installed input languages rather than the display language or the regional settings.

    This has the somewhat bizarre effect that the People and Calendar app display in German(!), which is I guess because there's no Dutch version yet (using German as a fallback for Dutch is hopelessly stupid, though). If I add the Japanese IME input language, the apps now display in Japanese. If I add English (and make sure it's higher in the list than Japanese), the apps now display in English.

    I want the UI language of all apps to match the Windows UI language, regardless of other language settings!

  • User profile image
    giovanni

    @Sven Groot: I second that: I am in a similar situation as you (I am Italian, living in another EU country, but like to have my UI in English for neutrality sake). The only workaround I found so fat is to set my location to United States Sad

  • User profile image
    davewill

    @Sven Groot: Using your example to test the internationalization of our own stuff ... which Dutch language did you choose [Dutch (Belgium), Dutch (Netherlands)] ?  Netherlands I presume.  [Insert durrrr here].  Or maybe that wasn't an option during install and only seen in the Regional Variants listing.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    Dutch (Netherlands). Smiley

    Basically I just want applications to ignore the regional settings or the input language for choosing UI language, and instead match the UI language of the OS. Input language may be used to choose a spell checking default (as Office does), and regional settings should be used for displaying numbers and dates and the likes. Neither have anything to do with UI language imo.

    Similarly, I want websites to ignore the location of my IP address and only pay attention to the Accept-Language header. The number of websites that redirect me to the Japanese version of the site, despite the fact that jp/JP is not listed in my Accept-Languages header, just because my IP address originates there is maddening. Amongst these are Google and Bing.

    I'm not Japanese. I have only a very basic reading level in Japanese. I don't want websites in Japanese just because I am in Japan! At least I can sort of get around in Japanese: when I was visiting Taiwan I got websites in Chinese which I can't read at all! The assumption that location implies language would've been reasonable before the rise of passenger air travel, but not today.

    It's so simple: use the OS UI language, not anything else, to determine your application's UI language. Use the browser's language preference, not anything else, to determine your website's language. These things would seem to be obvious, but apparently they're not.

  • User profile image
    davewill

    Cool.  I'll have to do some testing later today after a reinstall and perform a "groot" test.

    Geographically

    Robust

    Order

    Of

    Things

     

    LOL

  • User profile image
    Bas

    , Sven Groot wrote

    But certain apps seem to take their language settings from the installed input languages rather than the display language or the regional settings.

    This has the somewhat bizarre effect that the People and Calendar app display in German(!), which is I guess because there's no Dutch version yet (using German as a fallback for Dutch is hopelessly stupid, though). If I add the Japanese IME input language, the apps now display in Japanese. If I add English (and make sure it's higher in the list than Japanese), the apps now display in English.

     

    Wait… I have the regional settings set to Dutch (Netherlands), and the People and Calendar apps are all in English. No German to be seen.

  • User profile image
    davewill

    @Bas: Assuming I've created the same install scenario as Sven, I'm seeing the same as you too.  I was just about to proclaim passing the groot test.  maybe not so fast.

  • User profile image
    davewill

    The Language listing in Control Panel (Clock, Language, and Region -> Language) lists Windows display language: enabled under the English (United States) entry.  Maybe Sven downloaded and installed the German ISO.  http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/iso

  • User profile image
    Yoran

    @Dave, @Sven

    I have the same issue, but less complex, I installed english windows 8, set region to dutch.
    Now the calendar application is German, and in fact when i setup my microsoft account.
    It gave me dutch error messages in an English interface. That is simply wrong.

     

     

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    @davewill: No, it's definitely the english ISO. I see the same "display language: enabled" bit under English if I add it to the language list.

    @Bas: I first noticed this after adding Japanese. Could you try adding Japanese as an input language (make sure English isn't in the list) and see if the calendar app becomes Japanese? If so, then remove the Japanese input language (so only Dutch remains) and see what language the calendar app is then?

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    It just got worse.

    Apparently, IE's language preferences are now linked to the input languages. There's no separate way to change them anymore.

    I wanted to try Bing Translator for something, and it displayed in Japanese. Apparently, Bing Translator thinks it needs to display the page in Japanese (I guess only if you're actually in Japan) if the Accept-Language header contains Japanese, regardless of the order of preference.

    And there's no way to change the language on the site itself, which for a translation site is frankly ludicrous.

    So since these settings are linked I now have a choice: either I see this site in Japanese, or I remove my ability to type in Japanese.

    AAAAARGH!

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