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Smartphones settings allow you to choose a default language thereby ensuring your application displays in that language. Is it useful to provide an option to change this language within my application itself?

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Do you mean: should I provide the option to change the language in an app? And not listen to the language of the OS. – Pesikar Mar 18 '13 at 8:04
Yes indeed, my english is basic, I'm sorry for the confusion – Anthony Mar 18 '13 at 8:09
up vote 11 down vote accepted

It could be useful in the following circumstances:

  • When the user's native language isn't English, but they are more familiar with English labels than the native equivalents.
  • For users who need to switch keyboards (and auto-complete dictionary) using both their native language and English (or another secondary language).
  • For users that give their old phones to their kids, and need to set the language back to native language...

So yes, being able to change the language of a single application could be useful.


Having the option to switch the interface language could be very useful, if you want to let users override the system language. It depends on the type of application you're developing. If you don't provide a setting you could still switch language according to systems language. So if the user switches language from Spanish to English in the system, you're application does the same.

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I assume @Anthony means: should I provide the option to change the language in an app? And not listen to the language of the OS. – Pesikar Mar 18 '13 at 8:04
@Pesikar I see - I'll change my answer accordingly. Thanks – Benny Skogberg Mar 18 '13 at 8:09
Point no. 3 is very interesting and cannot be learned from a book :) BUT for all 3 points, I think phone's native language or the language setting of the dictionary would do the job. When one gives old phone to kids, they probably wouldn't use the apps which their father was using :) – Salman Ali Mar 18 '13 at 23:53
Even though I agree with Benny but the situations which Benny mentioned are not the first or second frequent use scenarios. – Salman Ali Mar 18 '13 at 23:55

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