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I'm assuming that when Google Analytics tracks a visitor's language it uses the Accept-language header from the request (most browser/OS combinations seem to populate it automatically).

My browser sends:


And yet I can't figure out how to get stats on what percentage of my visitors can speak a certain language even if it isn't their primary one (in my case I normally use English but I can use French). Does any analytics program do this, or am I going to have to capture it in my logs and track it manually?

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So it looks like about 3% of users send multiple languages in the Accept-language headers: euri.ca/2011/05/20/multiple-languages-in-accept-language-header – Dave May 20 '11 at 17:07
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Google Analytics claims to track the "preferred language [not languages] that visitors have configured on their computers."

This implies that they strip info after the first semicolon in the Accept-Language header. It's hard to tell from their documentation whether or not this is the case for sure, but you could test it by creating a secret page, adding analytics code, visiting it ten times yourself, and seeing which languages were reported under Visitors>Languages.

Competing services appear to take the same approach, so your options appear to be limited to using Google Analytics custom variables or Woopra Custom Visitor Data or a home-baked solution to manipulate and store the full Accept-Language header.

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Ok, so I think what I'm going to do is add some custom variables "speaks french" "speaks german" and "speaks chinese" thanks! – Dave May 3 '11 at 16:50
Btw, there's a related post on StackOverflow How do Google Analytics collect “user language” data?, which contains a link to Languages Report in Google Analytics which has a lot more information about how GA slices users up from the Accept-Language: header. – Owen Blacker Oct 1 '14 at 16:59

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