HeidiNo matter how many times I have tried to tell them, it seems Google have decided that I would enjoy all of their services and sites much better – in German! For probably millions of expats, this cunningly unclever use of Google’s localising intelligence is an absolute pain in the butt. I want my sites in English! I’ve sent you messages, changed my profile and cleared my cookies 1,000 times. Hörst du mich Google!

From Google’s viewpoint it is quite easy to deduce that as my IP address is in Switzerland, I must obviously speak German, wear little leather shorts and yodel all day long in the arms of my beloved Heidi from the peak of the Matterhorn. Now perhaps it hasn’t occurred to Google, but where I live in the Western part of Switzerland, French is the official language, and not German. So perhaps I shouldn’t confuse technological intelligence with good old plain and simple human ignorance and stupidity.

The cure for this Google inspired annoyance is to clear the cookies from your browser and start again telling Google what language you would really like. A very short term cure unfortunately, as within a few days Google’s intelligence will decide yet again that I’m a Heidi hugger and rabid yodeler.

Not that Google are alone in this insanity and ignorance. It has only been some ten years now that Apple have failed to correct the currency symbol in all their software for the Swiss franc. Swf is NOT the currency we use here. It’s the CHF, and no matter how many posts and complaints I have seen directed at Apple, they still prefer to use their own incorrect interpretation of international currency symbols.

I suppose this is all topped by my experience with a US blogging site that sent me an email asking if I would like to contribute. When I agreed and sent my first submission, they refused to accept it for publication because I was from a ‘non-English speaking country’. My response was not pleasant, but in keeping with my famous sense of humour, I sent my reply in Spanish. Funny thing is. They replied. In Spanish! My next reply was short. Caer muerto!

Hey Google! Ich spreche kein Deutsch!
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2 thoughts on “Hey Google! Ich spreche kein Deutsch!

  • 25/02/2012 at 7:19 pm

    Did they at least use Swiss German, or did they assume that you and Heidi are yodeling in the wrong dialect?

    Kind of funny how I don’t see the leather shorts when I think of yodeling. Over here it calls to mind an image of a wrinkled old cowboy sitting in front of his campfire with a scratched up old guitar.

    Lots of cowboys here in Alberta.

  • 25/02/2012 at 8:00 pm

    I’m glad you defined exactly what kind of yodelling Derek, back down in NZ we always used the word yodel when referring to someone throwing up.

    Don’t you just love big business. They all need our business and yet they still persist in being awkward to the point of imbecility!

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