I have a grouped list of items sorted alphabetically. Groups are created from the first character of each item title.

All characters that not belongs to any alphabet are grouped into a unique group (things like 0, 1, @, . are grouped together into #).


  • How do you handle grouping in Cyrillic, Thaï, Indonesian, etc.?
  • How do you handle grouping in a list with Latin and non-Latin items?

This question is related to a GroupView in a Windows Store App (Windows 8), but can be applied to all kind of devices.

Edit: For reference, we have to support these languages/alphabets:

  • All Latin,
  • Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish,
  • Cyrillic,
  • Greek,
  • Arabian
  • Thai, Indonesian, Korean

2 Answers 2


When in a localized environment, the best thing you can do is to group according to the local alphabet. On my Windows Phone I use English language as localization even though my navive language is Swedish. This means the phone organize all other letters of my alphabet to the # just before a, b, c,...

enter image description here

I would like the option to set my contacts grouping according to my Swedish alphabet maiking my friends visible where I expect them to be. Åsa, Ärling and Örjan today shows up under # - instead of in the end where we organize these letters in Swedish.

The Swedish alphabet ends with X, Y, Z, Å, Ä, Ö. And as a consequence the Cryllic alphabet would be grouped accordingly:

enter image description here

Latin and non-Latin order of items

As for Latin and non-Latin items could be tough. It really depends on which non-Latin items you have, and should be treated with care. A general rule could be to use the Wikipedia help page on Alphabetic order when appropriate. At least it gives you a clue how they could be organized.

!"#$%&'()*+,-./0123456789:;<=>?@ ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ[]^_' abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz{|}~ ¡¢£¤¥¦§¨©ª«­®¯°±²³´µ•¸¹º»¼½¾¿ ÀÁÂÃÄÅÆÇÈÉÊËÌÍÎÏÐÑÒÓÔÕÖ×ØÙÚÛÜÝÞßàáâãäåæçèéêëìíîïðñòóôõö÷øùúûüýþÿ ĀāĂ㥹ĆćĈĉĊċČčĎďĐđĒēĔĕĖėĘęĚěĜĝĞğĠġĢģĤĥĦħĨĩĪīĬĭĮįİıIJijĴĵĶķĸĹĺĻļĽľĿŀŁłŃńŅņŇňʼnŊŋ ŌōŎŏŐőŒœŔŕŖŗŘřŚśŜŝŞşŠšŢţŤťŦŧŨũŪūŬŭŮůŰűŲųŴŵŶŷŸŹźŻżŽžſ ǺǻǼǽǾǿ΄΅Ά·ΈΉΊΌΎΏΐ ΑΒΓΔΕΖΗΘΙΚΛΜΝΞΟΠΡΣΤΥΦΧΨΩΪΫάέήίΰ αβγδεζηθικλμνξοπρςστυφχψωϊϋόύώ

  • Hi @benny-skogberg , thanks for your detailed answer. Here are my comments : - If country/region AND the phone language is set to language/country couple with specific alphabet, the photo contacts lists is adapted to group with these conditions : "a-z" for the current alphabet, then international characteurs, then non "alphabetic characters", then latin a-z order. - How do you handle grouping with asian alphabets ? It seems a bit tricky compared to latin/greek alphabet Dec 19, 2012 at 13:57
  • @Christopher Asian languages is very different from our making of words through letters. I'm unfortunately not the one to tell you how to organize a chinese phone book, but I can guide you to this interesting Wikipedia article: Chinese caracter classification Dec 19, 2012 at 15:33

Cyrillic are grouped the same way, using first character of the name. I do believe the same rules are applied to Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish. Not sure about Arabian and Thai though.

And concerning mixing several languages. I think the better way is to try to keep the languages separated: I mean, do not mix the characters of different languages!

As an example I've done a slightly modified iOS address book navigation scheme (original address book has no ability to show grouping for several languages unfortunately):

enter image description here

Or, alternatively, you may try to give users an ability to quickly switch between language groups (by swiping or by buttons, etc):

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.