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    Amen. As an American living in Germany and doesn’t speak German, this is so tremendously frustrating. I’ve been meaning to write up my own rant, but yours was much more constructive.

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      Placing flag icons (or better) in different locations each time that everyone has to fish around the page for or assigning a language based on IP is time-consuming work and unnecessary cleverness.

      This statement, though phrased in the present tense, will only be true about 10 years after the last major browser owner adds features like he suggests for setting the HTTP language header. A theoretical technical approach to a problem does not instantly rearrange the cost/benefit ratio of an established system.

      A simpler step might be for them to stop sending a header based on their UI language and the desktop language so sites could start considering the header to be a meaningful expression of user intent, but, again, 10 years.

      (Also, nitpick, that’s a list of Indian states, not cities.)

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        Is there any broader attempt to quantify how accurate IP-based vs Accept-Language based guessing is for different languages? I can believe the latter is inaccurate for many countries (like the example given of India), but I would be surprised if it isn’t often the other way around. It’s pretty common in Europe to have the UI language set to your actual preferred language; for example, most French have their computers set to French, and those that don’t usually have a reason for it. In parts of Europe with large minority-language populations, the IP-based guessing starts with pretty low accuracy to begin with.

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          Guessing based on IP address is also awful for travelers and expats. I lived in Chile for awhile and sites constantly gave me Spanish-language content. In some cases Google would even give me Spanish-language pages despite the fact that I was logged in and they know more or less everything about me, including my preferred language.

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            Yeah, though I think I’d count expats (and other types of immigrants) as just a subset of “minority-language populations” for this purpose, since it doesn’t matter a lot for browser-language purposes whether someone prefers a different language because they’re an immigrant, part of a national minority, etc. I did run into that when I was living in Denmark.

            Now that I live in the UK, I merely have to deal with the fact that nobody respects my stated en-us preference. ;-)

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          I think the reason for doing this is more about jurisdiction than language. Google and the like need to know which country’s jurisdiction you are in so they can remove search results that courts have required them to. Potentially there are data protection laws that may affect how they track you that differ from country to country. Google maps shows different borders depending on your country etc.