I was checking out the “Yahoo! Buzz” site for the first time a little while ago and ran across an article that talked about the fact that more Chinese visited the official Beijing2008.cn Olympic website than Americans.
After taking a look at the site I know the reason. In fact, I’m honestly surprised that there were 4.1 million US visitors with Chinese visitors coming in at 4.3 million. The bleeping thing defaults to showing a Chinese language version. For all I know the text could be selling Halloween invitations, popcorn poppers, lawn mowers or the secret to cheap cold fusion.
Yeah, there’s a button in the upper right corner to get an English translation but honestly it took me a minute to realize it was there as I looked at a page full of great pictures and question marks taking the place of all of the text because I don’t have Chinese fonts installed on my computer (Why should I? I don’t read Chinese.)
The best way to handle it would have been to have some code in the site’s .htaccess that would look at the Accept-Language: http header and serve up whatever language version fit best. That way when an American views the site the “Accept-Language: en-us,en” http header that the browser sends would tell the site to serve up the English language version so that instead of all those question marks we get some readable text to go along with the pictures.
[Tags]website design, http headers, language, english version, chinese version, chinese font[/tags]