Though I have my mail address in Norway I'm originally Dutch and lead an international life. I speak several languages well but my Spanish has still much room for improvement. However, just because I'm currently in Spain you (that is, the Support Forums) assume that I must be fluent in Spanish.
When I tried to click Create Account the language changed to Spanish and I was moved to a Spanish Toshiba site. All this just because my IP address is currently in Spain, I expect.
IP addresses are in no way useful to make assumptions about a user's language. Would you like your mobile phone menu's changing into Chinese just because you happen to be in China?
Of course I appreciate that you're trying to be helpful but instead use the information provided by the browser, such as browser language or system language. You should fix this as soon as possible as it prevents users from participating here.
In my case I had to set up the Tor system for anonymous surfing. Your site then thought I was in Germany (just luck, it could have been a country with a language I don't speak) which enabled me to register. But Toshiba in Germany now think they have a new German user...
I don't agree. The very nature of laptops is that they are used to travel with and if anybody should offer good internationalized solutions for this it should be Toshiba - the laptop specialist.
The reasons you give for having to live with this are not valid. It's perfectly possible to track how forums are being used or registered for from different countries, but what they are doing now is the exact opposite:
At the moment Toshiba thinks that I'm German and live in Germany because the forum forced me to use the German registration procedure based on my IP address. Even that didn't work because I'm actually in Spain and a Dutch/Norwegian writing in English! So they're not learning much about me for statistilcal purposes by using this method and at the same time making registration very difficult for clients.
1. IP addresses don't tell you which language a user prefers or is able to use. Therefore they should never be used to detect language. They can be used to detect location which for example would be useful for a weather service. But as I have shown, IP addresses are unreliable even for locating users. For example, a lot of users log in through corporate or commercial VPNs which will show the VPN location instead of the user location.
2. IP addresses are not necessary for language detection as language preferences can be detected from browser info.
And lastly: I agree that it is not unusual to do things badly but that's no argument for not improving.
Message was edited: link has been removed - not allowed