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Marketplace displaying in wrong languages

One of our readers, Kibosh, has posted on our forum that he seems to be experiencing some issues with language in the Marketplace. Being fluent in Dutch (with good English), he has trouble browsing and - in rare cases - using apps on his device due to the Marketplace being displayed in French.

I'm a Dutch speaking Belgium guy owning a nice HTC Mozart and I'm happy with it. Only there is one major thing wrong with it and that is that the marketplace displays French. There are some more smaller things, but this language issue is for me very annoying.Because not many people know Belgium (I guess), there are three official languages. Dutch (Me), French and a small part German. For some reason, Microsoft decided to offer the marketplace only in French for Belgium. I can assure you that they made a big mistake. We, the Flemish, speak better English then French. Also there are 6,200,000 Flemish and 3,500,000 French. You can do the math. Consider also the fact that Belgium is going through a political crisis about French vs Flemish and you can see the size of the error.

As one could imagine, this is frustrating for Kibosh and he posted a reply to a Microsoft Answers thread covering language issues on Windows Mobile. Doing some searching, we managed to come across a similar scenario where someone from Switzerland had to browse the Marketplace in German. A few replies later and a solution was posted for a new Live ID and Zune account to be created (with correct settings to force English or a desired language), coupled with resetting the device to attach the new accounts.

Seems a bit much work to change the language, hopefully Microsoft will work on a feature that allows one to alter their language across their Live ID, Zune account and device with one selection. Have you had any trouble with the wrong language being displayed in the Marketplace?

Rich Edmonds is a word conjurer at Windows Central, covering everything related to Windows, gaming, and hardware. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a device chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

8 Comments
  • Hi,I'm from Belgium too, and I own a Samsung Omnia 7. Unfortunately, I have to confirm the issues with the Marketplace. I already contacted Microsoft about it. They told me the reason I'm seeing French is because my WLID Region is set to Belgium. It's based on the region set for the WLID and the computer.It's really annoying.Grtz, Jarrich
  • Well being in Belgium one would logically expect the region to be set for Belgium. I suppose MS would say set your region for a totally different region to resolve this. They really do not inspire confidence, do they?
  • I bought Need For Speed: Carbon on Games On demand on my Xbox 360.But when I started it, There wasn't any option too change the language. It was just all French! I called to Microsoft and after a month off delay they told me that they couldn't do anything for me. But the games here in stores are all English and sometimes Dutch. I can't get it why they just can't put the version off the game with all languages on the marketplace. Microsoft thought that Belgium was all and all a French country. But it just isn't!I even asked my points back but they couldn't do that even.This is just stupid Microsoft Policy!
  • Yes, this is stupid indeed. There are people that prefer to use English rather than their first language on their devices.
  • Being shown the wrong language, OK, slight annoyance, but no easy options anywhere to change the language? This is unacceptable.I'm from Hong Kong and have always preferred programs and user interfaces in English as they are almost always better than Chinese equivalents/translations, but if I have to see Chinese, they have to be in Traditional Chinese as it is the official form of Chinese used in Hong Kong for hundreds of years. Simplified Chinese is glyphically broken and just looks awkward to Traditional Chinese users. If users are stuck with Simplified Chinese for some apps with no way of changing it to Traditional Chinese or English, I'm sure people (at least over 9000) will be pissed.Microsoft, as much as I support you as a whole, Chinese text has always been something you suck at, from my observations. Now with this news it shows that you suck at localization not only in Chinese communities but various non-English speaking parts of the world.I feel for every WP7 user being shown text in the wrong language and urge Microsoft to fix this as soon as possible.
  • There is also a problem with creating a new Zune account. The credit card is attached to your region. So if you have a Belgium credit card, you need a Belgium region. Changing the account gives you an English Market, but you can't buy anything.I didn't try it myself, a friend of mine had it first to US but couldn't buy anything. But then, it just needs to be fixed. Give an option to choose what language you want no matter what region you are in. Also the reviews and ratings are affected, look at the picture in the article for need for speed. Only one rating for a top game? Sure there should be more. I took that picture today.Thanx to Richard for putting this also on here!Grtz, Kibosh
  • And belgium people have a chance to buy something...Here in Luxembourg (you know the small country beside Belgium) you can buy a Windows phone but you can't use the Marketplace, just because Zune.net doesn't support this country. But of course when Zune will support this country, the languages issue will be same than in Belgium : In Luxembourg there's also 3 officials languages : Luxembourgish, German and French.A lot of work is still required for Zune marketplace to make it comparable to his competitors...
  • +1 From Belgium too, but from the French speaking part. I perfectly agree with those guys; I had myself MANY issues with the Xbox 360 and my WP7. I live in UK. For instance, I can only use the Belgian Marketplace, and as I live in UK, some products are not downloadable, because I'm not in the right country. I have tried everything, called Microsoft, as I used to work in the press, I even talked to the PR's, there is absolutely nothing to do as long as Microsoft HQs don't change their policy. Same for all the Indie games stuff. In some countries, including Belgium, we still cant play the Indie games, probably because we have three national languages. Now; about WP7, yes it is a giant mess, and I'm not even talking about travelling with a Vodafone account abroad. Sometimes you cant use your GPS, Internet,...