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Changing default language in existing website

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I'm updating a website that is about a year old. The site has two languages: Dutch (default) and English. Now the clients wants English to become the default language. The site has a ton of translations already, so changing the default language in the backend is not really an option. So I'm looking for a way to simulate that behaviour, but in my experience doing it with redirects will lead to messy and unwanted behaviour. Can anyone tell me what the proper way of doing this is?

 

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This seems to be working: 

 

 

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Thanks guys, but I'm indeed aware how Google works 😃 and had hoped to find a less hacky way of doing things then straight up SQL. The weird this is that when I try to collect the language setting from a user via a selector and $pages, I don't get the actual field value - I get the value in the $user object instead. Something that works around this would also work well for me.

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