The Samovar

Make Google search in English (or any other language you like)
September 24, 2007, 10:13 pm
Filed under: Internet | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Just a little tech tip that might be useful. If you have found yourself in a country where you don’t speak the language particularly well, you may find that searching in Firefox is less helpful than it could be because automatically redirects you to the local version of Google for the country you’re in. Well, there’s an easy way to fix it, and a hard way. This entry is about the hard way. Go to the folder where Firefox is saved (on Windows, that’s C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox) then open the searchplugins folder. Edit the file google.xml using Wordpad. Just under the line where it says:

<Param name=”q” value=”{searchTerms}”/>

Insert the line:

<Param name=”hl” value=”en”/>

Restart Firefox and from now on searches will come up with results in English. You could change “en” to the language code for any language you like.

The less paranoid among you will have just allowed Google to save cookies on your computer and set your language preference yourself. I pity the fools!


Or…you could do an advanced search and request the language for results:

What I’d find really useful, though, would be a way of finding sites in US or UK from either or

btw…apparently, if you google ‘google’ – it breaks the internet!
(from last week’s ‘The IT Crowd’)

Comment by Edward the Bonobo

Or…do an advanced search and select English:

What I’d find really handy is a way of returning US or UK results from or Or any country, come to that. Currently I’m looking for hotels in Gothenburg, and Google Maps keeps showing me Gothenburg VA. Do you get Paris, Texas?

btw…apparently if you google ‘google’, it breaks the internet!
(from last week’s ‘The IT Crowd’)

Comment by Edward the Bonobo

Note: two comments from Ed because they were spam filtered for some reason.

Yep, your solution works fine, but for those of us who are too lazy to open up google, open the advanced search page, then type in our search, and just want to use the search bar at the top of the firefox window, that’s no good.

Paris, Texas scores sufficiently lower in google’s system that it’s never been a problem for me. 🙂 I do remember though in the early days of the internet, I was in a chat room and said I was from London. They said something like: “oh wow! I didn’t realise they had the internet in Canada”.

You can’t do ‘sites in the US’ as far as I know, but you can always find sites in the UK by including “” in the search box.

Comment by Dan | thesamovar

On IE I automatically get, on Firefox I get

Go figure…

Comment by azahar


Comment by ed

You are the man!!!!!
I work for an american country in Europe but we use IP addresses from a dutch provider, so I get redirected to all the times. it was pretty annoying until I found your post!!
Many thanks dude.

Comment by Sabbione

I have always been able to google search with no problem, but for about 2 weeks now, every time I try to search, a foreign language comes up and I don’t know how to get the language off and English back on….very frustrating.
Hope you can help me. Thanks.

Comment by norma deason

i only give you hope

Comment by nirel

How can I get back to English, as the language on my Google searches? I don’t know how a foreign language (French) got on it to begin with….this trouble started about 2 weeks ago. Norma G. Deason

Comment by norma deason

How do I do this on a Mac? There is no folder for Firefox anywhere on the Mac, nor is there a google.xml document anywhere. I’m in the Middle East and everything is coming up in Arabic!! Thanks for any help you can offer. I’m on an Intel Mac running 10.5.5 and Firefox 3.0.4.

Comment by Marc

No idea about Macs I’m afraid. I would have thought there would be the same folder somewhere, but on a Mac I wouldn’t know where to start looking.

Comment by Dan | thesamovar

I live in Thailand and California. I am in hailand and my Google saerch page has suddenly displaied the Thai language!! How do I change it back to English???

Comment by Richard Nickey

Thanks, this is really useful!

For Macs 1.go to your applications folder and right click (or control-click) on “show package contents” 3.Open MacOS folder 4.Open in the “searchplugins” folder

Comment by natemb

Please change my search engine back to English from French.

Comment by sammy blanco


I had this problem too, travelling for work in Greece and Japan. I eventually wrote a (very small & trivial) greasemonkey script which fixes it.

The nice thing is that it allows you to stay in google search of the country you’re in, but just changes everything to english. Also works with the firefox google search toolbar.

If you’re using firefox, then GreaseMonkey is a very handy way of moulding your internet to your needs.

If you’re not using firefox, then, man, I just don’t know *shakes head, shrugs shoulders, and walks away, broken and dejected*…

Comment by glenton

Thanks a bunch for this.

Comment by lordkoos

Useful script, thanks for that! Never got around to tinkering with GreaseMonkey but it seems pretty handy.

Comment by Dan | thesamovar

Thanks for this! I am in a new country every month and it is annoying. Note: It didn’t work when I copy and pasted what you had because it made unrecognizable – ” – but when I manually changed it everything is fine. Thanks for this tip!

Comment by Vertical Jump Trainer

actually it is much easier. type and it will redirect you to the page. Then click at the preferences link, (it’ s the middle one on the right), and choose to show everything on English and search for english pages. You should not have any further problems.

Comment by nuwuanda

And every time I restart Firefox it is back to Spanish in my case.

Comment by Kurt

Search in English

Comment by Anonymous

I need google in english

Comment by Gopal

i want google search in english

Comment by B.Anand kumar

Thanks, everytimes the same Google’s results in Spanish are bullshit, in English are useful.

Comment by mario

your suggestion has no effect on my google searches

Comment by Malcolm

Re: the solution suggested right at the beginning, once the google.xml page is open it’s impossible to copy the entire page of code, in order to paste onto wordpad.If someone can help with that, I presume I have to delete the original google.xml doc and transfer the adjusted one back to the plugins folder, right?

Comment by sunnybunny

Works perfectly. Thank you.

Comment by Anonymous

I get a message saying access is denied whenever i go to save the changes to the google.xml file, how do i solve this?

Comment by Anonymous

copy the file to your desktop. open it and alter as above then save. It will now save. delete old file and copy new one to location.
I had same problem using windows 7

Comment by Anonymous

Hai iam rajesh in madurai

Comment by Rajesh

i dont get it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111111

Comment by tamana

To change the default search engine in the location bar:

Type “about:config” in the location bar and press enter/go. Search for the “keyword.URL” preference. Tap on the preference to change the value. (For example, change to brasil 😉

Comment by flavio

i really like to make this as my persernal website

Comment by marlene

i give a A FOR THIS

Comment by marlene

The simplest way is just to go to (note the “s”). No redirection from there

Comment by jilleses

i’ve try but it said my access is denied

Comment by Anonymous

How do I do that with internet explorer

Comment by Anonymous

IT DOESNTTT WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by John Solon

but i used note pad instead wordpad….ARE THRY JUST THE SAME

Comment by John Solon

i need googlel

Comment by seyedmohamed

Traducsione a ingles.y vervos

Comment by albert

shahrukh chauhan 9560072603

Comment by shahrukh chauhan

But why not do the easiest thing of all and just set your Google search language to English at . Then it works all the time from the omnibar or from a Google search page.

Comment by constantboom

Comments are closed.

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