Questions tagged [internationalisation]

adapting an interface or content to the different languages, skill sets and expectancies of a globally accessible application.

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189
votes
13answers
14k views

Language of language names in the language selector?

Imagine a site that's available in multiple languages. The language is detected automatically by looking at the IP or the browser header. But that's not bulletproof, so a few users might end up on a ...
32
votes
5answers
6k views

Should I use country flags in language selection fields?

My users can create content in different languages, and I need to provide an option to choose the language when they enter new content. Right now there are only 5 languages (en, fr, de, pt, es), and ...
31
votes
6answers
7k views

US: How should I use feet/yards/miles?

I'm trying to localise an app for the US. The app shows a list of places with distances that are relatively close, so either walkable less than a 10 minute drive away. Currently if the distance is ...
31
votes
4answers
24k views

Best pattern for international address forms?

I've noticed an emerging pattern in web-based forms is to put the country field before city/state. This is contrary to how we would normally fill out an address on paper, but it allows us to have ...
30
votes
3answers
3k views

What UI/UX patterns do not “translate” well when localized to other languages? [closed]

I wanted to see what tips other designers with more experience designing for web applications and sites that must handle multiple language might have. I know the basics, like expect the length of ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

Should angle quotation marks be used as arrows?

Angle quotes (a.k.a. guillemets) are often used as arrows in pagination and such. For example, this image is from a pagination example on Bootstrap's site: As a native U.S. English speaker, these ...
24
votes
3answers
3k views

Is the mental model of time advancing to the right in charts globally accepted?

Is it a common mental model, that in a chart visualizing a time dimension, the time is advancing to the right? I'm currently working with the Internation Business Communication Standards (IBCS). They ...
22
votes
5answers
31k views

Where to place currency symbol when localizing and what to do with odd symbols

Is there a suggested, single location to place the currency symbol every time for any given locale? For example, always on the left with a space before the amount like this: R 10.00 $ 10.00 € 10.00 ¥...
21
votes
2answers
1k views

Which is the best way to select a language from 400 possibilities?

We are defining a language selector for 400 languages. Given the massive number of languages compared to other websites, we applied several mechanisms to reduce the complexity of the language list. ...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

Alphabetical grouping of accented words

We have a list of countries in our UI where the design prototype groups the countries by initial letter. The country names change by language, so the grouping also changes. This also means that the ...
20
votes
4answers
587 views

Middle Eastern usability considerations

I have been given a task of researching usability of Middle Eastern websites so the considerations can help shape the functional specification and wire-frame diagrams. What is noticeable from the ...
19
votes
1answer
865 views

Is the question mark “?” internationally recognised as an icon for help?

I'm looking to use "?" as my help button icon in a desktop application but I'm unsure how universally recognisable this will be. I can localise this for different culture if necessary. Any ideas?
18
votes
5answers
751 views

Should apps allow the use of non-Latin names?

When you have an application with an intended international audience, you are likely to run into issues with names. The W3C has some interesting documentation on names, but I'm not sure how good it ...
17
votes
8answers
3k views

What do you put in a country list for countries with more than one common name?

I'm from England, which means in drop-down lists I have to search for United Kingdom, then England, then Great Britain... it's generally the UK, but it does vary from site to site. What is the best ...
16
votes
4answers
49k views

How many characters should typical address fields allow on an international website?

On an HTML form, What is the maximum amount of characters that should be allowed for: Street Address 1 Street Address 2 Town/Suburb State/Province (I would have drop downs for main countries, but I ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Common website phrases in multiple languages?

Is there a resource anywhere that lists common web UI phrases in multiple languages? I'm interested in having quick access to translations of phrases like cancel, save, welcome, and so on for quick ...
15
votes
4answers
33k views

Is using a comma as a number separator a cultural thing?

In the US, it's very common to add a comma for numbers of more than 3 digits (ex: 1,000 for one thousand ; 1,000,000 for one million ; etc.). In France though, we don't use this at all and commas are ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

How should keyboard mnemonics be localized?

Is there a standard approach to localizing (internationalize) keyboard mnemonics? For example, in Windows Notepad in English, if the user types Alt+E then P, the Edit menu opens and then the Paste ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

What's a good alternative to flags for depicting internationalisation as an option?

Are flags a bad idea? In various comments on How to design a multi-language website?, several designers voiced their concern for the use of flags as a symbol to represent language switching on a ...
12
votes
2answers
5k views

Scrollbars in right-to-left layout

I'm currently developing the Arabic version of an existing iOS app. iOS always displays scroll bars on the right. Should they be displayed on the left in RTL mode? With right-aligned content (images ...
11
votes
4answers
885 views

How can you make names in one alphabet readable and pronouncable by users of another alphabet?

A few months ago, World of Warcraft decided to make a drastic change in their Player vs Player matchmaking system: Russian players would be able to face off against non-Russian players on English ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

A good solution how to localize and let user choose language on HTML page

I read another question where a poster states that flags should not be used for languages since flags represent countries. In my mind I agree but in my eye this solution is the best: Do you agree ...
10
votes
5answers
11k views

International Phone Number Field Layout and Design

I have a form that asks for the customer's phone number number. The customers are international and not limited to the U.S. and Canada. Does anyone have any best practices on how to lay out (and label)...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

Drop down menu with language choice, what should the languages language be?

I hope the title is not confusing. I am talking about the (so common) drop down menu (doesn't have to be a drop down) where you choose the language. Something like this: As you can see this gives ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

International conventions/standards for abbreviating large numbers?

The concept of formatting large numbers in an abbreviated fashion for casual, non-scientific display (e.g. 12,345 as "12.3k") is well explored on SE: What is an alternative way to display a very ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Is a language switcher necessary on a web site's every page?

I'm working on a multilingual WordPress driven web site running the WPML plugin. WPML offers a language switcher widget which is pretty neat. However, the layout of the page I'm working on is very ...
8
votes
6answers
740 views

Guidelines for designing usability for Japanese elderly

I'm currently working on a Japanese website (all in Japanese) aimed towards Japanese users age ranging from 50+. It's not a traffic heavy website and it's just mostly text and information with a news/...
8
votes
1answer
9k views

Why Greek letter mu (μ) on European keyboards?

AZERTY-style keyboard layouts in France and Belgium have a dedicated key for typing the Greek small letter mu (μ). While not having a dedicated (μ) key, keyboards in Germany, Denmark, Finland, Iceland,...
8
votes
2answers
682 views

Grouping best practices for list with international data

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 (...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Are the flags of any countries controversial to use in a UI?

This post indicates that using flags to represent languages is probably a bad idea: http://www.456bereastreet.com/archive/200604/indicating_language_choice_flags_text_both_neither/ What about using ...
7
votes
3answers
12k views

Address form, field for “region”

I've done some research and found that each country has its own way of subdividing the country into smaller parts. Examples: Departments (France) States (USA) Provinces (Netherlands) Counties (UK) ...
7
votes
1answer
8k views

Why were Ctrl-Z and Ctrl-Y chosen as undo/redo shortcuts?

Is there a reason why some keyboard shortcuts are chosen? Specifically, ControlZ and ControlY. Sometimes I happen to switch from a QWERTY keyboard to a QWERTZ keyboard. Apart from the time it takes ...
7
votes
1answer
297 views

Shouldn't automated translation be optional?

More and more websites use some automated translation into what they think is my language of choice, be that by relying on a browser setting (for which I'm looking for a fix) or worse by geolocation. ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

In RTL locales, should mobile application animations be reversed?

In mobile applications, it's common to drill down with the new view animating in from the right. Going back results in the opposing animation (from the left). These are analogous to turning a page. ...
7
votes
1answer
361 views

Putting names on international business cards in a helpful way

With electronic transmission of contact infos (h/x/j/vCard, CardDAV, EAS etc.) it should be possible to store unambiguously the various parts of a person’s name and title as well as their gender and ...
7
votes
3answers
189 views

What amount length to expect over all currencies?

I've looked around the questions and formatting prices with different currencies seems to be a recurring problem. I encountered a variation of this issue. I have figured a format to display the price ...
6
votes
4answers
302 views

How can I know an icon will relay the same meaning across all cultures?

I work for a multinational company with websites in about 40 countries. There is a mix of European, Asian, Pan Pacific, North and South American countries we serve. I have been asked to design a ...
6
votes
5answers
292 views

Is it ok to use different fonts for translated versions of the same website?

I am building a webpage for a company that is present in many countries, thats why there will be individual websites for every country. While having no problems with the technical aspects, I am a bit ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Best way to display a currency picker for an ecommerce site?

I've just converted an ecommerce site to support multiple currencies rather than just one and was looking for any feedback or experience in how to display the fact that the site can now be viewed in ...
6
votes
3answers
894 views

Mixing languages on a blog : cute or worst idea ever?

I want to create a blog where posts can be in various languages. In the current version, I have 209 posts total, with 29 in English and 1 in Italian (the rest is in French). I've read that Google ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Spanish UX Keywords Cheat Sheet

I expect to be working on a web application within the next several months and I'd like to "shoehorn" a Spanish language version of the site. If a large enough number of Spanish language users begin ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Tagging symbols (eg. @, #) What are the others?

I am creating a tagging system like Facebook. But unlike Facebook, where it would show all kinds of objects (eg. people, page, groups) under the '@' symbol, I want to separate things better. For ...
6
votes
2answers
153 views

Intuitive cross-cultural terms for full name and name-to-be-addressed-as

If a user interface only deals with English or European languages, it's usually quite straightforward to split a user's name into given_name and surname. This way, you can easily do things like: "...
5
votes
4answers
149 views

Names: MCGRADY instead of McGrady and ROLFO instead of Rolfö

This question applies anywhere last names are displayed, especially when displayed without first names. (Some examples: news or sports broadcasts or video games) When is it appropriate to use ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

How should one communicate invalid/valid telephone numbers?

When filling in a form with real time validation and contextual help, how should one communicate the logic behind the telephone number validation? For example, then contextual help would give hints ...
5
votes
2answers
652 views

Colours in cultures : where does the data come from?

I've just come across a chart called "Colours in Cultures" that you can find here : http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/colours-in-cultures/ Since I'd rather not bother the author ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the best mechanism for language and country selection?

I need my users to choose their country to use my site. The French version has a totally different setup to the English version, for example. I'm The trouble is, if I merely ask the user for their ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How to design a multi-language website ?

I have a blog where I write in French, and sometimes in English. Right now, the distinction is made with a "tag" called "In English", so that users can get the feed for, say, only the English posts. ...
5
votes
1answer
875 views

Right to left graph labels for right-to-left languages

When building a graph or chart for use by right-to-left languages such as Arabic should the labels also change? For instance it is generally accepted in my English speaking culture that lower numbers ...
5
votes
1answer
158 views

Is it necessary to reorganize your entire layout to suit multilingual left-to-right languages?

I'm working on a flash project right now that is necessary to support 16 languages, from english to hebrew, and etc... My dilemma right now is whether or not it is necessary to flip my whole design to ...