Back in June I vented my spleen a little bit about how frustrating I find it that websites choose a language on my behalf based on my IP address, which is a frankly stupid way of doing it.

Well, I’ve decided to revist that subject for a brief post because we have a new winner in the web language stupidity stakes. IMDb is one of, if not the, largest movie information sites in the world, and it has country specific sites listed for, among others, the US, Germany, Italy , Spain, France and Portugal. It is also, according to a proud banner in the footer, an ‘ company’. So they must really know how to handle languages on the web right?

Doh! IMDb is so web savvy, that even when I explicity tell it I want the UK site, by going to, it serves up German language film titles when I’m in Germany. Frankly it’s a mess, half the site is in English and half in German. How smart is that? According to, this is the English box office at time of writing:

“UK Box Office

  1. Ich – Einfach unverbesserlich – £3.66M
  2. The Social Network – £2.49M
  3. Beilight – Biss zum Abendbrot – £1.09M
  4. Wall Street: Geld schläft nicht – £676K
  5. Life as We Know It – £624K”

To use my IP address to choose my language is stupid. Giving me a different language to the localised site I have specifically selected is even more stupid. Mixing the two up is frankly inexcusable.

The new King of Web Language Stupidity is, an Company.