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Flags do not represent languages well (ref), but raw text (eng, spa, etc.) is not very effective in catching the eye.

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It appears that there are currently no symbols for languages. Which method is therefore the most effective for increasing cognitive ease in choosing a language? (assuming typing the first few letters is not an option)

  • What is the context of use? Do you have a mock up, so we can see your UI? This graphic doesn't help us solve your problem. – Mike M Jul 8 '17 at 17:30
  • @MikeM Wikimedia Commons homepage – Sparkler Jul 8 '17 at 18:27
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As your source reference explains, use flags is the wrong way to represent languages. Cause is some countries are spoken more than one language and not all people could knows that a foreign flag represent his own language.

The problem could change according to the context, but the majors companies, use to rapresent languages with the name of the language, written in the language.

E.g. English, Français, Pусский, 中国

Facebook

Facebook languages selection

Google

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This way grants to each user to recognize his own language and choose it.

If you have too much options, you can group in a menu called "languages" or using language icon.

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