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I'm aware that I'm probably part of a very small minority and that this problem either doesn't concern most others or is not perceived as a problem by them, but ... I really don't like when the game language is automatically determined by checking the player's system language. Just because I'm German and my system language is set to German for convenience in everyday life doesn't necessarily mean I always want to play the German translation of e.g. an English language game.

I guess it's meant to be a great service, specifically catering to people who don't speak English very well. And I could acknowledge and appreciate that - if they'd still give me the option to switch back to the game's original language, in case I prefer that. But usually they don't. Most of the time there's no language option in their game menus, and you're not even asked about your preferences during installation ...

Some games that I recently found guilty of this annoying design choice include for example Braid, Costume Quest & Stacking and Bastion (the latter case is the worst because it forces a mix of German and English on me - English voiceovers, German subtitles and game language).

I'm all for multi-lingual support - I love it - but I'm also a big fan of choice. From my point of view, the good thing about multi-lingual games is precisely that you get more options, more freedom to choose which version to play. Does anyone else feel this way or can at least understand why this automatical language recognition bugs me, even if doesn't concern them? And is there something that can be done so that I can play these games in the original language? Do I have to change my system language each time I want to play them? :/
Post edited August 09, 2012 by Leroux
I agree. There's nothing worse than when a piece of software thinks it knows better than you what language you want to use. I can't say I've experienced it much in games, but that's probably because most games aren't translated to Danish.

However I've noticed this with software. Especially microsoft office which apparently matches the language to the input language of the system (I think it's that one at least). It really annoys me since I need to have my input language set to danish so I can type my native letters, but I don't want office to be in danish. Unfortunately I have no choice there.
At least windows had a one-time choice at install, which is better than no choice at all.
Post edited August 09, 2012 by thebum06
Same thing. As someone who has pirated a lot and now is ditching retail for digital download BECAUSE of imposed alnguages ( uying games here and realising it's only the french version), this infuriates me to no end. The desired language files are present, and you're not allowed to access them. Really great.

Just adding two lines of code to ASK whether we really want that default language or not should not be SO MUCH of a hassle for programmers.
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Leroux: Some games that I recently found guilty of this annoying design choice include for example Braid, Costume Quest & Stacking and Bastion (the latter case is the worst because it forces a mix of German and English on me - English voiceovers, German subtitles and game language).
Uhmm.... I don't have Braid, but I play the others in English ... completely in English.

Edit: My Steam is running in English, so maybe that is the reason?
Post edited August 10, 2012 by SimonG
Steam allows so set the language to whatever you like and allows to set for each game separately in which language you like to have it (might need to have some data updated for the game).

For example:
My Steam is running completely in German, but I wanted to play "Heroes of Might and Magic 5" in english (because of a bug, that prevents the game to show any text or play voices). Just switched the language setting of the game to english in steam, steam downloaded a few hundred MB (I think for the english language files) and from that second, the whole game was in english.
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thebum06: I agree. There's nothing worse than when a piece of software thinks it knows better than you what language you want to use. I can't say I've experienced it much in games, but that's probably because most games aren't translated to Danish.

However I've noticed this with software. Especially microsoft office which apparently matches the language to the input language of the system (I think it's that one at least). It really annoys me since I need to have my input language set to danish so I can type my native letters, but I don't want office to be in danish. Unfortunately I have no choice there.
At least windows had a one-time choice at install, which is better than no choice at all.
I've got Danish as input language, and my Office is in English, so it's certainly not that clear-cut.

Spore did this though, as far as I remember. Set the language automatically, based on the input language, and it was translated into Danish. I had to do some hacks in the file structure to switch it back to English, IIRC.

If they used the OS language, that would make more sense, but the input language is usually just indicative of which type of keyboard you have attached to your computer, which tends to be the local variety.
Never happened to me with games, but I remember I had some program that noticed the OS was in Finnish, so it turned the program into Swedish mode and I couldn't find a way to turn the language to English. My Swedish is awful. If it's not "jag är en fågelhund, ge mig pengar", I won't understand it.
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Adzeth: Never happened to me with games, but I remember I had some program that noticed the OS was in Finnish, so it turned the program into Swedish mode and I couldn't find a way to turn the language to English. My Swedish is awful. If it's not "jag är en fågelhund, ge mig pengar", I won't understand it.
That reminds me about the prank people used to play at my school. Whenever somebody wasn't looking after his mobile, they changed the language into Arabic, or something completely unreadable. Good luck trying to figure out who to change it back ... (back then there where no pictures on phones, only text).
You may choose the language of your game in steam for every multilangual game. You must be aware of region restrictions, though.

For example, in my region, I can choose only from English, Polish, Czech and Russian language for Fallout: New Vegas. Which is perfectly enough, but sometimes you may not have English option avaible...

Also, most games are default in the language you've chose for installation (retail games)

Some games detect your language, and most of the people want to play in their own language. When it's possible to manually change the language in-game without reinstalling it, I don't consider it a problem.
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thebum06: I agree. There's nothing worse than when a piece of software thinks it knows better than you what language you want to use. I can't say I've experienced it much in games, but that's probably because most games aren't translated to Danish.

However I've noticed this with software. Especially microsoft office which apparently matches the language to the input language of the system (I think it's that one at least). It really annoys me since I need to have my input language set to danish so I can type my native letters, but I don't want office to be in danish. Unfortunately I have no choice there.
At least windows had a one-time choice at install, which is better than no choice at all.
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Wishbone: I've got Danish as input language, and my Office is in English, so it's certainly not that clear-cut.

Spore did this though, as far as I remember. Set the language automatically, based on the input language, and it was translated into Danish. I had to do some hacks in the file structure to switch it back to English, IIRC.

If they used the OS language, that would make more sense, but the input language is usually just indicative of which type of keyboard you have attached to your computer, which tends to be the local variety.
Hmm, if office doesn't use input language I might be able to change it. It's just what I found using google for a few minutes, so I'll try to be more thorough.
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SimonG: Uhmm.... I don't have Braid, but I play the others in English ... completely in English.

Edit: My Steam is running in English, so maybe that is the reason?
I guess so. Don't even know why I chose German as default language ... Switching Steam's default language would be no problem for me, a lot better than changing the system language.
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Ubivis: Steam allows so set the language to whatever you like and allows to set for each game separately in which language you like to have it (might need to have some data updated for the game).
Ah, okay. Thanks to both of you for the advices! So that settles the matter for Stacking and Costume Quest, but of Braid and Bastion I use the DRM-free versions, not Steam.
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keeveek: Also, most games are default in the language you've chose for installation (retail games)

Some games detect your language, and most of the people want to play in their own language. When it's possible to manually change the language in-game without reinstalling it, I don't consider it a problem.
That goes without saying, but what I'm talking about are games that neither allow you to choose the language during installation nor in-game. Thanks to SimonG and Ubivis I learned that this isn't a big deal for Steam games, but it shouldn't be a problem with the standalone games either, and sadly it is. I could find no option in DRM-free Braid to switch the language, neither in-game nor during installation. And I think Bastion doesn't offer it either (although I can't check the in-game menu now since it doesn't run on my rig, I only saw it at a friend's).
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thebum06: Hmm, if office doesn't use input language I might be able to change it. It's just what I found using google for a few minutes, so I'll try to be more thorough.
It might depend on your Office version. I'm using 2010, and in the Options window, I have a Language tab, where I can fiddle with language settings.

As you can see in the image, the only choices I have in the Display Language section is "Match Microsoft Windows" and "English". It seems that this version uses the OS language rather than the input language. Of course, since my Windows is also in English, that somewhat limits my options ;-)

Microsoft sells additional language packs. I just checked, and for a Danish language pack, they wanted to charge me the equivalent in Danish currency of $33,30. Good thing I don't actually want that pack :-/
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thebum06: Hmm, if office doesn't use input language I might be able to change it. It's just what I found using google for a few minutes, so I'll try to be more thorough.
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Wishbone: It might depend on your Office version. I'm using 2010, and in the Options window, I have a Language tab, where I can fiddle with language settings.

As you can see in the image, the only choices I have in the Display Language section is "Match Microsoft Windows" and "English". It seems that this version uses the OS language rather than the input language. Of course, since my Windows is also in English, that somewhat limits my options ;-)

Microsoft sells additional language packs. I just checked, and for a Danish language pack, they wanted to charge me the equivalent in Danish currency of $33,30. Good thing I don't actually want that pack :-/
Oh, right. I use 2007. Probably different there. I don't even have a language tab or anything in the options. I guess I'll have to buy a newer version sometime soon anyway.
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thebum06: Oh, right. I use 2007. Probably different there. I don't even have a language tab or anything in the options. I guess I'll have to buy a newer version sometime soon anyway.
The new one should be coming sometime in autumn, more or less simultaneously with Win8. And from the preview, it would seem that it will allow you to install any additional languages you want free of charge.

That could change, though. Who knows.
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Leroux: snip
I found the info that in Readme file for Braid there's a guide how to change your language.