We have a website that is dedicated to English teachers (English as a Foreign Language). The home page is mostly aimed at school principals - to interest them in our platform (product). That's why we've decided to make it in native language (not everyone knows English so well to make buying decision). The platform, after registering/signing up is entirely in English (we assume that English teachers know English:) so there will be no option of language change.

My question is: how to display the following options in the top/header of the homepage:

  • log in
  • sign up
  • [native language]
  • English.

As for logging in/signing up - there will be text links, how about changing language option?

We still have our doubts when it comes to setting the language option. On the way, we've excluded flags as controls (let's say we think it feels too 90's). Dropdown menu with only two positions makes no sense; having four links on the top of the page - is it a good option?

What would you suggest?


4 Answers 4


If the choice is only ever between native language and english, and you want to maintain a professional look, you can't go too wrong imitating how this banking website does it. It's clean, flagless, and easy to find. The top right hand corner seems to be pretty standard position for language toggles.


It's important that it is somewhere relatively easy to see and I think you have to think of what a user is looking for - flags can be very 90's but they work because they act as a good signifier, so I wouldn't discount them if designed correctly.

I also agree with Franchesa RE that Dutch site. The Seek website has a variation on the idea - although it's for location rather than language, it's very similar.

If you want inspiration, check out a bunch of Canadian businesses, particularly telcos - they use French and English so there's plenty of great inspiration to be found.


Rogers Bell


Today it's relatively easy to identify where the user is surfing from (by their IP). If you support that surfer's language, switch to it automatically. This way, most users won't even bother to change the language, since you got the most probably option set for them by default.

As an icon, you can consider a globe, though its not as near recognizable as the flag icon.

Having a dropdown with only two options might sound silly, but I predict it would work and serve you well. The down-arrow next to the language name would make it very clear this is an option you can change.

  • Dvir, I agree that IP verification is quite easy nowadays. But this method doesn't work for quite a number of cases. It will be implemented on the page load (starting point), but user have to be able to switch site's language manually.
    – Anna Ma
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 9:23
  • Indeed, guessing the language automatically is just providing with the best default. It doesn't eliminate the need for a way to change the language, just makes it a lot less needed.
    – Dvir Adler
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 13:02

Guess we'll just have to check what version works best as there seems to be no "That's it!" answer:

  1. login, sign up, EN, PL (all links)
  2. login, sign up (links); EN, PL (dropdown)

Thanks for your input everyone!

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