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Re: New article published: Using <select> to Link to Localized Content

From: Felix Sasaki <fsasaki@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 23:49:40 +0900
Message-ID: <op.suizg2zax1753t@ibm-60d333fc0ec>
To: "www-international@w3.org" <www-international@w3.org>

------- Forwarded message -------
From: "Mark Davis" <mark.davis@icu-project.org>
To: "Richard Ishida" <ishida@w3.org>, www-international@w3.org
Subject: [Moderator Action] Re: New article published: Using <select> to  
Link to Localized Content
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 23:48:01 +0900

Some comments:

> Labeling. Come up with a graphic design to serve as a label for the
pull-down menu. You cannot expect Web users who are not fluent in English  
understand "Select language". ...  Examples of possible graphics would
include globes, iconic facial profiles with lines to indicate speech,
alphabetic characters from multiple scripts (especially for links to
translations), etc.

If there are some examples that really work (I am somewhat doubtful about
iconic facial profiles until I see them), then the article should include
them. What about using the browsers Accept-Lang to choose the localization
for "Select language"? That would work for all but Kiosks. And although we
all know the issues around flags, a few flags as a label for the field make
it instantly recognizable.

> Translate options. Translate the menu options into the target language.
Instead of including a link on the pull-down menu to a translation that
reads, for example, "French" the link should read "français"; and instead  
a link to an alternative country site like "Germany" the link should read

I would really like to get a sanity check on this. While français is
lowercase in flowing text, the information we have gotten back is that a
menu of items should be titlecased. Look at
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Accueil-IE6-FredJust.png or others on
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accueil/Copies_d%27%C3%A9cran: the menus are
not 'fichier' 'edition'... even though those words in flowing text would be

> Note, also, that names in the language of the current page should really
be translated for every page where they appear - if you leave them in
English it may give the wrong message.

BTW CLDR has a wide range of languages translated into other languages. If
you use it to generate the menus, you can get the n x n cases.

> Ordering There is also the question of how to order a multilingual list  
> of
language or country names. It is not an issue that is specific to selection
lists, and there is no simple answer to this.

That may be true, but since there is no obvious answer, the article might  
well choose one. Two choices are (a) sort by the language of the page it is
in, or (b) sort by UCA, and optionally put a few 'important' languages (for
the target audience) at the top. If that is done, then a dividing line
should be used so that people realize that the order is not uniform.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Ishida" <ishida@w3.org>
To: <www-international@w3.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 05:22
Subject: New article published: Using <select> to Link to Localized Content

After incorporating comments from the review phase, the GEO Working Group
has published the article:

Using <select> to Link to Localized Content
By Richard Ishida, W3C & John Yunker, Byte Level Research

The article provides an answer to the question: What are the best practices
for using pull-down menus based on the select element to direct visitors to
localized content?

You can find various news filters and RSS feeds relating to the work of the
Internationalization Activity at

Richard Ishida

contact info:

W3C Internationalization:

Publication blog:
Received on Tuesday, 26 July 2005 14:50:12 UTC

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