Does Apple Hate French?

An unexpected side-effect of upgrading my iPhone to iOS6, the App Store is now entirely in German.

Although I know what schließen means, unfortunately, I don’t really speak German anymore.

This is rotten. Will Apple ever learn there are four official languages in Switzerland and not everyone wants defaults to German?

Why can’t I choose my language? Why does Apple ignore my International settings?

Was ist los? Does Apple hate French?

Update, September 25:

I’m not sure what happened, but when I opened the App Store this morning, the interface is in English again. I did not change anything in my settings.



This entry was posted in Apple, Switzerland, User Experience and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Does Apple Hate French?

  1. Ric Day says:

    That is really weird. We have upgraded three iPads and three iPhones to IOS6 over the past few days, the most recent being a new iPad which I finished updating less than 10 minutes ago. One iPad runs Englsh, one simplified Chinese, and one traditional Chinese. Same language mix for the iPhones. The iPad and iPhone which are mainly used for English (the one I’m writing on now) is regularly switched among German, Dutch, and traditional Chinese. None has had any problems after the IOS6 update.

    Perhaps it is only French? I would have thought that hordes of French Canadians would have been raising heck by now.

    • laura says:

      This is a rather systematic problem for me. Apple frequently shows me terms and conditions in German and sends me emails in German. None of which I can read. They’re very inconsistent though. Until the upgrade, my app store was always in English. Thanks for reminding me that Canada also needs a store that supports multiple languages. Perhaps Apple has not completely ignored this “corner case” and there is a setting I can change somewhere, if I can find it.

  2. ric day says:

    I have found that the settings in Accessibility sometimes help. I’ve sometimes had unexpected switches from traditional to simplified Chinese and fiddling with the settings seems to cure it for a while. Can’t honestly say what caused the cure though.

    I wonder if your changes have something to do with Apple geolocating you in a German-speaking region? I never did learn French (both my parents were fluent, so I decided to speak German instead). My stays (business, mostly) in Switzerland tended to focus on Zurich, Berne, and Biel/Bienne, with Lucerne for relaxation (usually hiked up Rigi from Weggis to get some clear air and thinking). I did notice how compartmentalized language use seemed to be in Switzerland, with even the German/Schweizerdeutsch being rather different between say Lucerne, Zurich, and Schaffhausen. And there seemed to be pockets of French everywhere, when I had initially assumed French would be on the French border, German in the middle, and Italian on the Italian border.

    Which makes me wonder if Apple is making the same wrong assumption I initially made.

    • laura says:

      Hi Ric, thanks for the suggestions. I didn’t need to try because the App Store seems to be back in English today. I don’t know why.

      Switzerland has four official languages. While over half the country does speak German, it’s well-known which areas are predominantly French-speaking, and I live in one of them. It would be like not knowing that French is the predominant language spoken in Quebec but English is primary in British Columbia.

  3. Sorry to hear of your problem, you’ve mentioned it before. I know of no solution. Did you get the retweet of the post, I did this morning, where you can turn off advertiser tracking. It was on ZDnet and retweeted first by jkendrick. This iOS6 is very different and some things are hidden. I am having a problem since I upgraded too. I cannot buy an app in the App store. Good luck with your finding a solution to your problem.

    • laura says:

      For the moment, my problem seems to be fixed, but if you’re not able to buy an app, it sounds like yours is worse! On the other hand, you worry me because I haven’t tried to buy anything yet since I upgraded. Only free apps and updates so far.

      I didn’t see the link you retweeted yet either. I’m roaming at the moment and only intermittently online. I’ll look for it, thanks.

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