From bacon and Obama to AKB48

I have no idea if this applies to all Android phones, but at the very least on the old Samsung Galaxy S: Episode I I’m using, I can choose to set my language and location to, for example, the United States or Japan, but I can’t set my language to English and my location to Japan or the opposite. Not that it really matters; I can work in either language just fine. However, assuming this is how it works for all Android phones, or even just the Galaxy S, I wonder what people do in Switzerland, or virtually anywhere in Africa? Considering both the large number of multilingual countries and the general trend of increasingly multilingual users (see for example this survey that indicates the majority of internet users search in more than one language), it seems to me that location and language should be separate settings.

Having just this morning re-switched my location back to Japan after an extended period of being “located” in the U.S., I opened my Google+ feed only to find that that the posts in the What’s Hot section have gone from being by Barack Obama and about bacon (oh, how American!) to being 90% teen idol girl group AKB48 (oh how Japanese!). I will tell you this, however – it’s nice not seeing the empty platitudes in the image quotes posted by the self-proclaimed Funny Images. Nope, from here on out it’s all AKB48 platitudes.

I also re-discovered why I had switched my location to America in the first place. With my location set to the states, search results came back in English when I searched in English and in Japanese when I searched in Japanese. Now whenever I use Google from my phone, Japanese language results are given precedence, no matter what language I search in, which is rather inconvenient. I guess from now on I’ll be switching several times a day to get the best of both worlds.