In the Google Translate dropdown on my site, all of the language options are displayed in English. So let's say someone who only speaks Arabic gets to my site and wants to choose his language.. how is he supposed to know which option is Arabic? Each language should be displayed in its respective (native) language, like it is on twitter ). Does anyone know how to accomplish this? I've looked through help pages on Google and have found nothing. Thanks!

  • Hi Nate, welcome to UX.se! Your question is about implementation of Google translate which is outside of the scope of this site. This site specifically deals with questions pertaining to User Experience.
    – rk.
    Jun 7, 2013 at 18:59
  • This question is answered at stackoverflow.com/questions/1043339/… Jun 7, 2013 at 19:15

2 Answers 2


Google Translate (and this includes Google Website Translator as a subfunction) always displays the language selector in the user's browser language which makes totally sense for a translation feature. Therefore, when I'm visiting your website, the options are displayed in german for example.

A translate feature differentiates from a language selector like the one of twitter you came up with. In the context of a language switch, each option should be in the language it represents (read Language of language names in the language selector? to get why).

In the context of a translation, the user may want to translate something in a foreign language. Therefore he has to understand even the language options he doesn't speak which is easiest when the language options are displayed in the user's language.


The UX answer is that you use JavaScript to detect the language being used by the browser. You may notice that your link to google ends with "en" indicating English, but even if you change this the language does not change as Google checks your browser language and displays in that, even if you change the parameter. The SO answer is linked in my comment above.

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