SIGIA-L Mail Archives: [Sigia-l] Re: Switching between Spanish and English
[Sigia-l] Re: Switching between Spanish and English
when working on multilingual websites it's always a good idea to look
at the European Union to see how they deal with the problem.
Specifically regarding your problem what they did is to put all links
in the user's preferred language (chosen on the home page). When a
document is not available in this language the link is inactive and a
list of small icons shows the available languages beside the link
using ISO two letters language codes. (compare
In any case, you would have to test with your user-base and see what's
working for them.
* Do they really expect some part of the website to be in english (a
message at login might not be enough) ? I don't know about
spanish-speaking people but I can imagine french people being angry
about such an occurrence and seeing that as a proof of the arrogance
and lack of respect and of professionalism of the provider. Now, if
this is for spanish-speaking people living in the US that might not be
* Are they comfortable with pages containing links in both languages ?
(Same problem as above)
* Are they frustated by inactive links ?
* Are they familiar with ISO language codes ? As you suggest, when the
number of languages you're dealing with is not so important you can
also write their name in full (as the swiss federal authorities are
doing http://www.admin.ch/, but they seem to translate each and every
document in french, german and italian and when something is not
available in english, they just don't mention it on the english
But, however serious the problems might be, it's difficult for me to
imagine that a popup might improve the user experience.
As always, the best solution depends on your particular situation and
it's necessary to get user feedback in one way or another. By the way,
I would be happy to hear back about your users' reaction, if you're
willing to share that.
When replying, please *trim your post* as much as possible.
*Plain text, please; NO Attachments
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: Fri Aug 12 2005 - 10:37:50 EDT