English as a first language

We Americans are a bit spoiled when it comes to software localization issues. (And a few other things. :-)) Most of the products we use are from American companies -- my employer in Redmond, for instance -- so we can just stick with the language defaults and work in English all the time.

When you travel to countries where other languages are spoken, though, things can get complicated. Web sites on the computers you use default to the local language, and that can be really confusing. I can guess that Optionen means Options, but Anmelden? WTF?

I've run into this in various countries, and I always just muddle through it. But my colleague Aku Heikkerö, an MCS consultant at the MOSS workshop here in Munich, just showed me how to adjust the default language and it's great -- now this local computer I'm working on actually speaks my language!

Here's the trick:

  • In Internet Explorer, go into Tools / Internet Options / Languages
  • If your preferred language isn't listed, click Add and add it to the list
  • Click on the language you want, and click Move Up until it's at the top of the list
  • click OK

That's all there is to it. I know this is old news to those of you who speak multiple languages, but I'm guessing I may not be the only simple American kid who didn't know how to make English the language of choice in my browser. Thanks, Aku!