Friday, January 05, 2007

How to change language if you are an expat in a foreign country

There have been complaints of people whose mother tongue is, for example, English, but is living in a foreign country, eg. Japan. When they log into their Blogger Dashboard, it is all in that foreign language and they have problems understanding it. For such cases, it is easy to change the language even if you are living in a foreign country. Sign into Dashboard, then at the top right hand corner of the Dashboard is this:

new EDIT PROFILE with drop-down menu for language choices

Right at the bottom is a section "Language" with a drop-down menu. Click the down arrow and a long lists of available languages will be shown. Selectg your preferred language and your preferred language will automatically be saved.

Amazon products for languages

There is also another setting you can do. In the Dashboard, for the relevant blog, click SETTINGS, then click the FORMATTING sub-tab. Somewhere in the middle of the page will be a drop-down menu to set the language for the blog:

FORMATTING SETTING  language drop-down menu

Click the down arrow and select your preferred language. Then at the bottom of the page, click "Save settings".

Amazon products for expatriate

If that still didn't get the effect you want, you may have to change the language option of your browser.

For FireFox, in the menu bar at the top of the browser, click TOOLS > OPTIONS and in the pop up, click the "Advanced" tab . Then in the "Languages" section, click "Chose":

Firefox Tools Options Advanced Languages Chose

In the second section which is a drop-down menu for "Select a language to add...", click the down arrow and select your preferred language. Once you select the language, the "Add" button will become active. Click that. The rest, I have never tried because I have no need to change the preferred language of my browser, and you are on your own from there.

BTW, if you are like the majority of surfers who only have Internet Explorer, you should seriously consider getting the FireFox browser. I would highly recommend it, and if you go to FireFox with Google toolbar, you will see a screenshot of a section of a page from Blogger Help where Blogger recommend Firefox.



  1. Anonymous1/17/2007

    Thanks, that was really useful.


  3. I am sorry, I am not an expat in a foreign country, so I have no personal experience with that. But I am guessing that you MAY be able to change that in the Dashboard via SETTINGS > FORMATING, and select the language of choice.

    Peter a.k.a. Enviroman
    Enviroman Says

  4. :) i had this problem too.. but it seems to have suddenly automatically assumed i wanted english.. or maybe it heard me! i had complained about it so many times!
    thanks sweetie.

  5. IMMENSELY grateful... this was driving me nuts.

  6. THANK YOU... this was driving me nuts...!

  7. Thank you, SO MUCH!

  8. Thank you to all who took the trouble to express their appreciation.

    Peter a.k.a. enviroman
    Enviroman Says

  9. you are a god. I was gonna lose it. Thanks for the decyphering the mystery!

  10. Bless have saved me so much time!

  11. You're a twat. This doesn't work if you are English in another country. Blogger/Google bend over backwards to help foreigners with your languages but gives no thought to English people abroad.

  12. Hi Grey Oltwit,

    Sorry it didn't work for you. It seem to work to some extend for the others (see other comments). Don't know why it is not working for you. Maybe you can provide more details.

    Peter (Blog*Star 2006 and 2007)
    Testing Blogger Beta (now New Blogger)

  13. In my case, these steps don't work because in Taiwan EVERYTHING shows up in Chinese. Even those menus on the Dashboard are in Chinese so there are no English words like "Change Language" to click on.

    If that's the case with you, then the following might help. I found this information posted by someone named Mishka, and they work for me.

    Mishka's Solution:

    "You need to make sure you have the language set in all three locations for it to stick and if you delete cookies it will revert and you'll have to do the settings again.

    Here are the instructions that you can use even if you can't read the
    language being displayed.

    Okay, a few things. First, you need to go into your browser settings and make sure that English is chosen as your preferred language.

    Okay, if you are logged into blogger and on your blog's main page, you can click on the little blogger icon on the left top corner and it will take you to your dashboard. When you are on your dashboard, you should see your blog names below and your profile picture and name to the right. The third bullet down from the picture is the Change Language link. Click on that and select English and save (English should be the top one, and Save is the big orange button).

    After you save, it should take you right back to your dashboard.
    Underneath the title to your blog, there should be a little gear icon
    on the right side. The second link is the one for the blogs settings,
    click on that. Formatting is the third link over from the left
    underneath the settings tab (which should be where you are if you came
    from the dashboard). The language settings is the 6th down from the
    top of the page. The save button is bright orange at the bottom of the page.

    It is more of a google thing than it is a blogger thing (they think
    they are helping you out by adjusting the language based on IP address but it is supposed to default to your browser's language)."

  14. great - works a treat!

  15. I saw a blog that's written in english but besides each post there's a little square and saying German beside it, you mark there and it shows a text that was hidden, in german, of course the blogger did the translation himself, like I want to do, the question is: how can I do this hidden text and this place to check and show the hidden text. Thank you

  16. Hi Beth,

    I am afraid I don't understand exactly what you want.

    Peter Blog*Star
    Blogger Dough
    (Blogging helped my put 2 sons through college on my pension and if not for blogging, I would have been in financial difficulties. We want to help you do the same)

  17. Hi, my question is how can I have an option box for the person change to another language, for ex: I post in portuguese and in english, so if the person whants to read in english she mark the box like this "view my entry in english" and then check the box, if you whant i can show you a blogger that do this, I just don't do this now to don't invade her privacy. Thank you

  18. Look at the top of the first right sidebar of this blog Blogger Tips and Tricks. There is a Google Translate tool there. You can get translation of this blog.

    If you want one for your blog, have a look at Add translator to your blog.

  19. Here I come again, sorry for didn't explain well what I needed. There is a blog "Sew mad", and if you visit it you 'll understand what I mean, that she can put a box for you to opition if you'll read her posts in english or german, how can i do this to on my blog?
    Thank you very much

  20. Obs: I don't want a translator, I need to write both languages myself, as the girl at the blog that i mentioned before. Thanks again. You do a great work helping everyone!

  21. What is "sew mad"? Is that supposed to be an active link?

    Anyway, I thought my first response referring you to Add translator to your blog answered your question?

  22. Sorry, but this is the blog's name Imade a reference to and the adress is
    There you 'll understand what i'm saying. Thanks again

  23. At the end of her posts there is a box for you to check saying "view this in english"

  24. Again about the two language blog, that's not so simple, the blog I mentioned before has a box to ckeck for uou to choose if you'll read in english or german, one of my doubts is where is the other part, english or german for eg. is saved. If you go at the end of each post you'll see this "view this in english" and a box to check, once you check this box all the post shows in english, but it's not a translator, she herself write both versions, I want to know how to hide one and have the same box for the person to check and change for the other language. Thank you again

  25. I've changed the settings on my firefox browser AND I've set the language in my blog..but for some reason and this just happened recently--but my menu is in Korean. I can't read it?? And I've tried to go back to see what I might have changed or done.. and I don't know why it's still in Korean?? I've changed everything to English and still no luck?

  26. thank you. it was very helpful.

  27. That's good for setting the default language for a blog, but there does not seem to be an option to set individual posts to a non-default language. Any solution for expats who sometimes write posts in their local language for their neighbors to read?

  28. Robin, try going to Dashboard > Settings > Formatting > and select your language there. Will appreciate feedback on how you fare with this change of language

  29. Sorry Peter but your advice doesn't work if you are in a place that uses a non Latin written language, such as in Thailand or Japan- unless you can read the word 'English' in those scripts you have a list list of unreadable gobbledygook, impossible to choose from. Google needs to FIX THIS!!

    I, Expat

  30. yeah except i put mine in english, and the menu tabs in dashboard and editing interface are in english but all the options buttons below the overhead tabs are in Thai!

    so i see two languages mixed in one web page
    WQell dont google.. let cookies assume they know what language we speak
    at least the language chgange in blogger will show thai and english with a slash e.g. ไทย/English
    whereas in google accounts (which changes me back to thai every third browser refresh or page change!), the change search settings language interface, once change to thai, will show the languages to choose like this and this only;

    ไทย | อังกฤษ | สวิสส | เยอรมัน ...

    now laddies.. assuming you are monolingual (or even multilingual) and read only latin characters, i ask you, which of the four words above will change the language to english??

    because any english person who gets their search settings automatically changed back to thai every 30 minutes will boggle when they try to change their langtuage back and see that all language names are writtten in Thai and Thai only!

    what a stupid thing to overlook especially considering that i have commented on this problem in about 100 places where google employees read, and they still havent figured it out.. its simple guys.. just take 'ไทย' and change it to ไทย/English in the google search settings options instead of in only Thai, as well as the google homepage top right corner 'search settings'.. hey what if it changes to thai then no one can read it?

    Dont you realize that once you change it to non roman characters then no one can read it to change it back.

    My browser changes back to thai every 30 minutes even though i keep going to search settings and change it back to english

    Makes me want to tie the programmer to a chair above a crocodile pond and tell him he has 3 minutes to tell me which of the thai words say 'change back to english' and if he cant ill feed him to the crocodiles! then he would regret his stupidity

  31. wow withutalai.. i been practicing Tamil lately and i can read your name! only 3 weeks practice and can read it already
    வி = w+i = WI
    டு = T + U (long U)= Tu
    த = Ta
    லை = vi + ]t = ]ai (Tamil ai vowel you write before the one it reads after - right to left in this case).

    = Viduthalai
    Yaayyy i can read Tamil already!

  32. or FireFox, in the menu bar at the top of the browser, click TOOLS > OPTIONS and in the pop up, click the "Advanced" tab . Then in the "Languages" section, click "Chose":

    huh? languages? no such option in firefox - not the version i have anyway.. assumption is the root of idiocy

  33. I understand your pain and there may be a chance for me to raise this issue sometime in September so do subscribe to the comments in this post.

  34. AAAagggggggggghhhhhhhh...which one's the dash's all in Russian n don't get anything!!!help?

  35. it.!!:-)))

  36. Brilliant! You not only gave me the helpful technical information I needed, but also got me to smile in the process! I see you also have some great tips! Looks like you're going to be the first blogger I follow. :o)

  37. Great to have you as a follower.


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