Tip 21: How to graphically represent a language


How do you represent a language selection on a website?

First question is, do you have country or language specific content? Country specific Let the user select the country. Flags/names of the countries are then the best option. Language specific Let the user select his preferred language. There is an issue, there is no standard graphical representation for a language. What can you do? Use an icon or a representation of the” language swticher”. An example of the language switcher is:


Another example of an appropriate icon is:


This icon was the winner of a competition to find the correct icon and there was a winner and it’s really good. However, bear in mind that is not universally identified, like, for example the floppy disk for “save”. Test it with users. Is it also recommended to use the language name in plain text in native and current language. ISO 2-letter codes are often confusing and unfamiliar. The…

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