No Hable Espanol!

Now that I live in Spain, one of my top priorities is to learn the Spanish language. I had intended to start at a state run academy this month, but as I have to go back to my old stamping ground for an operation, it has been put on hold.

This makes it all the more annoying when I get redirected to the Spanish version of a web site while surfing the net. I try where possible to put my location as the UK, because then at least I get the pages in English. But sometimes that doesn’t work and I still get directed to the .es site automatically. This is very frustrating!

Admittedly, some web pages think of people like me, and put a language selection menu on the page which is handy. What a pity all do not have this foresight.

One of the worst problems is buying stuff on-line. I have for example, I-Tunes on my computer, but when I go to the Shop, I must go to the German page because I have a German credit card. I even had to give my old employers address in Germany just so I could buy music or whatever from Apple. You can’t live in one country and have a credit card or bank account from another? Isn’t it ridiculous?

We have now a global economy, with people moving from one country to another to find work, or some other reason, but this doesn’t seem to get through to the web. How many Poles are living in Western Europe? How many Turks live in Europe? How many Middle East people have moved into Europe? The list is endless, and yet the Internet does not support this migration to the extent it should. It is time company’s ensure their websites reflect the needs of people who no longer live in their countries of origin.

I am sure a Polish person living and working in France would love to view pages of interest to him in his own language, no matter how good he speaks french. To do this he must go to a Polish site, only to find himself redirected to the french site because that is where his computer is!!!

The only web company that has done something useful in this area is Google with its translation tool featured on their pages. A very handy tool that I have made use of frequently.

Web Page designers must be made aware of this shortfall in their product, and the best way to do that is for everybody to send e-mails to the Help Section of the page being viewed. Maybe then they will listen. Miracles do happen!

May tomorrow be better for you than today

Roy.

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