Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Mailbox: FamilySearch Language Issues

Dear [LDS-WC],

I tried the new Family Tree at familysearch.org. I find it to be inferior to new FamilySearch (nFS). But that's my personal opinion. Maybe I'll get used to it over time.

But there's a problem you might be able to help me with:

As I first started doing my genealogy on nFS a year ago, I quickly found out that it was best to not use nFS in German but rather use the English interface. Besides a few translation issues the help center is real nuisance if you use it in German. Not all articles have been translated into German. And I often spend hours to find a KB article only to find out later that it is only available in English and can only be found if you switch the interface to English before searching. That's why I am doing my genealogy completely in English on nFS.

I have configured my church account accordingly and set the preferred language to English. Everything works just fine - at least in nFS. While trying Family Tree at FS I found out that it is behaving strangely. The outer frame of the website (framed above by "Family Tree -- Learn -- FamilySearch Centers -- Indexing -- Blog") is in English. Also the links to Settings, Help and the Sign Out button is in English. The inner frame, consisting of the actual Family Tree, is in German. I haven't yet found a way to switch it to English.

First I thought it might be that FS sees my German IP address and switches back to German. So I tried an U.S. proxy, connected with an IP address from Chicago (after having deleted all cookies) and still got the German inner frame.

So I'm lost here. Language settings on lds.org and FS/nFS websites have always been a constant nuisance. But at least I always found a way around them and got what I was looking for. Not this time.

Here is a screenshot: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/152/42547868.jpg/

So if anybody has any ideas how to get Family Tree in English - please let me know.

Thanks,
Sebastian Buck *

Dear Sebastian,

I spoke to a product manager about your situation. Here’s the scoop:

FamilySearch is working on globalizing headers and footers so they appear in the patron’s language. This should be done soon. Until then, the headers and footers will always be in English.

Family Tree appears in the language of the operating system and browser. If you change the preferred language of your browser and relaunch it, Family Tree should come up in the preferred language. Before November FamilySearch plans to provide a language setting in the footer which will give you a convenient way to switch languages of headers, footers, and Family Tree.

Signed,
The Ancestry Insider

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