British or American English or just English

18 March 2009   4 comments   Web development

http://crosstips.org/

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British or American English or just English My play site Crosstips.org is available in British English and American English. Obviously the difference is small but it's important.

What I've done is that if you're located in, say, France and visit the site it offers you the following language choices:

But if you're located in, say, England it only offers you the following language choices:

And likewise, if you visit the site from US computer you just get two options and it uses the en-us.crosstips.org domain. As an American or a Brit why would you be interested in the other English? I think this is a really good usability trick. It reduces the noise by removing options.

How did I do that? The answer is the GEO IP. I used the geo module in nginx and a config file I found here and then I wrote a script that uses this GEO variable (fron Nginx) to change the options accordingly.

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Comments

Michael Scheper
Well, that covers two forms of English; what about all the rest? =) (en-au, en-nz, en-ca, en-za, just to name a few...) (And no, we don't speak 'British English' in Australia; our language is just more similar to British English than American English.)
Perry Wischow
There are a lot of Brits living here in the US that would prefer to see British English!
Peter Bengtsson
Damn! I was so close to have a coherent point and then you go and damage it with logic and common sense!
Graeme
The "correct" way to do this would be to look at what the browser sends as the preferred language. Unfortunately many people set it incorrectly.

I am not sure that geoip is wrong in this context though - a Brit in the US is likely to get American puzzles.

You should probably use British English for South Asia and some of the other Commonwealth countries - I do not know about Canada and Australia.

I remember reading that schools in New Zealand now use US spelling because it was too difficult for people to figure out how to change settings in MS Word, but older people probably use British spellings.
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