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Re: [WAI-IG] Serving my page in the right language

From: Marjolein Katsma <hgnje001@sneakemail.com>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2004 11:25:13 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

At 09:17 2004-03-22, Nick Kew wrote:
>In the first place, even in the absence of explicit user choice, the
>browser already has a clue based on the language set in the operating
>system and desktop.
>In the second place (and in the real world), ISPs and system
>administrators will pre-configure language preferences to local
>norms on behalf of users.

In my real world there live a lot of people whose native language is not 
that of the country they live in. (In Amsterdam alone, 45% of residents are 
of non-Dutch origin.)

In that real world, people go to a store to buy a computer for themselves; 
what they get is a machine pre-configured with an operating system and 
browser set to the (main) language of the country they live in (often 
preconfigured to use a particular ISP as well). No administrator in sight.

Just how do those people even find out there is such a thing as a language 
preference? And if they know enough to ask the right questions - will their 
ISP's helpdesk know enough to help them along?

My downstairs neighbor, who is Mexican, never had a clue she could set her 
*keyboard* to use Spanish instead of Dutch. She shares the computer with 
her daughter who is more fluent in Dutch than in Spanish. Even if they know 
they can set the browser to a language preference - which would they 
choose? Their browser certainly doesn't have a clue what their preferences are.

Marjolein Katsma
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Received on Monday, 22 March 2004 05:25:17 UTC

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