To change the default language in the bash console (shell, terminal, command line – whatever you want to call it), go to your user home (e.g. /home/username/) edit or make a .bash_profile, and add this line to it:

export LANG=en

For some bizarre reason, our new dedicated server from 1and1 defaults to German feedback, which is really handy when you’re trying to work on the shell!

Update – 2007-02-27: If you have a 1and1 server stuck in German, this solution above doesn’t work properly (it breaks some stuff). I’ve written up a much more elegant solution which does actually work (thanks to Scott from ART).