Tuesday May 18, 2004


They must have tweaked something over at Site Meter. The page for the languages of visitors to this blog used to show 100% English, but now it shows several others. They all have very low percentages, so I'll bet they were being rounded down to zero. Still, this represents the first stirrings of my worldwide academic/publishing/media empire, and I want to welcome my international visitors.

The stats look like this:

English 99.5%
Japanese 0.1%
German 0.1%
French 0.1%
Finish 0.1%
Dutch 0.1%

Yes, it really says "Finish".

So, to everyone: ようこそ, willkommen, bienvenu, tervetuloa, and welkom!

(I admit I had to look up the Finnish word, and the spellings for German and Dutch.)

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
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What exactly is the language of a visitor to a certain site? Is it determined by the IP address of the visitor, or by some setting of the visitor's browser, or some other method? I am coming in from Japan, but my browser is the "english version" (or semething like that; not too clear on what the 'en' part is supposed to convey).

Posted by: Russell at May 18, 2004 9:38:59 AM

It is in relation with that "en" you mention. You're therefore in the 99.5%. My browser is identified by "fr" because it's French, although I use it for English and I'm an English speaker. I'm some or all of the French 0.1%. On the other hand, Site Meter should also say what percentage of visitors is from what country, regardless of browser language.

Posted by: Rethabile Masilo at May 18, 2004 12:22:28 PM

I assume they're doing it with Javascript, which has a "language" ("browserLanguage" or "userLanguage" in IE) property on the "navigator" object that tells you the current language setting of the user's browser. Here's a page with an example:


Posted by: The Tensor at May 18, 2004 12:38:03 PM

Sitemeter has this to say:

Statistics Help [Close]
This pie chart shows the distribution of the languages used by the site visitors. The languages shown here are based on the language setting in your visitor's browser. For example, if you discovered that many of your visitors are French, you may want to create a French version of your site. The language chart will fluctuate as new visitors come to the site.

anyhow according to my sitemeter stats yesterday someone used google to translate one of my pages into italian pretty interesting...


Posted by: Blinger at May 18, 2004 5:46:50 PM

Seems like the 0.1% German speaking browser is mine.

Found your blog through stavros, and loved the title. I read The Demolished Man years ago, and never forgot that phrase.

Posted by: Christina at May 20, 2004 7:25:18 PM