• Stop staring at my iPee

    by  • 23 May, 2008 • Tech • 4 Comments

    Dear webmasters of multi-lingual sites (including you, blogspot.com!),

    Please, STOP STARING AT MY iPEE! I’m not staring at your … okay, we don’t need to go into that, you get my point already. That being said, now that I have your attention, here’s the deal.

    I live in a country of which I don’t fully master the language. This is Europe, a real melting pot of cultures and languages, and I can go and reside wherever I please. Language is not going to stop me from doing that. So I chose to live in Greece. Very difficult language, Greek is.

    Here in my neighborhood, when I enter a shop and open my mouth to inquire about something in this language that I don’t have full command of, they immediately reply in English.


    Because these people can look beyond my uttered words. They go directly to my Hopelessly Twisted Tongue Protocol (HTTP) header so to speak. And this header says: “ACCEPT-LANGUAGE: en, nl, de, fr, el”, in that order. Stopping short of staring at my iPee and saying “hey, you’re in Greece, we only speak Greek to you” would be considered very rude here.

    These people don’t have PhD’s or engineering degrees, yet they are smart enough — and hospitable enough — to go the extra mile (or yard, inch, whatever) and actually look at my HTTP header. Now, as I understand it, you have herds of PhD’s and engineering whizz kids in your stables, yet you don’t have the smarts to look beyond my iPee and go to my HTTP header? I know my iPee says I’m in Greece, but my HTTP header has been carefully construed to tell you that my preferred language is in fact not Greek.

    Is that so difficult?

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