In a similar question (Multi Language Name Input), I already read about the translation-topic.

In our desktop applications, we have some situations where the user needs to enter translated values for certain values (eg product description). Some info will be shown in a datagrid, other values will be shown in a form.

Say that we have a product grid that looks like the following. We could offer a translate link which results in a popup with all translations. To add a new translation, one could click an add button and a second popup is shown. The problem with this link is what happens if two fields need to be translated? Also this takes up a lot of space.

Translate link

In a detail view, translation could also be entered by using radio buttons to set the language. If the label of a radio bullet is bold, then there is already a translation for this language. Advantage of this is a fast entry of all languages. But the list could look crowded if a client supports lots of different languages.

enter image description here

Are there best practices around a user providing translations for his data? Do you guys see other possibilities (both form and grid layout)?

  • 1
    for last 2 images- you can use Listbox in select mold to select language instead of radio buttons.
    – Aman J
    Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 12:16
  • you mean to have al languages in a list with scrollbar, and upon select values appear in correct language. The only thing that will be lost is that the user can see upfront that there are already values for a certain language. Could it be possible to set a language on the top of the page? But how would you show the user that this is not the system language then?
    – Kim
    Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 12:23

2 Answers 2


I like your second approach. I would recommend going with a similar approach to how Google translate does it i.e. use two dropdowns

  1. One to select the language being translated from
  2. Second to select the language being translated to

enter image description here

To optimize this you could go with a single layout like this

enter image description here where the link opens a lightbox to add a new translation. The dropdown helps in scalablity as you can now access several languages. If possible, I would implement an autocomplete in the dropdown to make language access faster.

  • This solution seems also possible, I guess the grid will be less important. Cause for new applications, the grid is not editable anymore. But for the form-solution, the translations will take up some space, while the user might not want to see the translations already made?
    – Kim
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 9:52

I like your solution for the grid. But for the form based: what about a dropdown on top that refreshes all the fields when changed. You can also show the options of the dropdown in bold when it was already added.

The advantage of this option is that you can translate multiple fields at the same time. As opposed to the solution shown which translate one field at a time.

  • would you use the forms solution for the grid too, to have a consistent solution for both? But when showing bold, you only do this when all values are translated? Otherwise placing a link under a field which needs translation could to, but then you can't see if all labels have translation.
    – Kim
    Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 14:37
  • I would just use the form solution. For the grid, a link "translate" that opens the form would be enough. What if the dropdown can show items with a color icon next to it: English (green); French (yellow); Italian (green); Spanish (red); green is fully translated; yellow is not all fields were translated; red is nothing is yet translated. You can use the same color system next to each field. Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 15:10
  • this could be a possible solution, like this we can show if something is fully translated. For the grid, what if a grid is the last level (sometimes there is no form view: in some applications the grid can be used to insert/edit data directly; in new applications the grid is non-editable)?
    – Kim
    Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 15:13
  • What if there would be 10 language, you will create rainbow in the screen.
    – UXbychoice
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 7:18

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