Re: [i18n-discuss] How to order items in a multilingual list of languages? (#20)

For the specific question (W3C translations), can we get some actual numbers, in particular the max number of languages?

For a smallish number (~20), the top right of looks good. No need to pull down something or scroll, and users are good at recognizing their own language in such a list of languages, even more so if the language uses a rarer script.

For longer lists, I'd look at what Wikipedia does. Most people use Wikipedia more than the W3C site, so anything close to Wikipedia will help. Not because it's the ultimately best solution (Wikipedia has a lot of experience, so it may be close to that, too), but just because people are already used to it.

As far as I understand, Wikipedia lists languages in native script by approximate order of Latin transcription. So Ελληνικά is sorted with Ell..., 한국어 with Han..., 日本語 with Nih... and so on. This is definitely better than using language tags, which can be way off. Wikipedia also does some collapsing. The full list is only visible very shortly, if at all. I guess to see the full list in an article with many tranlations (e.g., which claims 235), one has to dig into the page source.

After collapsing, Wikipedia then only shows 'frequent' languages, where 'frequent' is determined by both the current user and the overall usership. For W3C, I think that's overkill. For the remaining languages, there's then a popup organized by region (Asia, Africa,...).

One more point: For accessibility, a structured list (with whatever criterion that creates reasonably balanced parts) may be preferred over a very long linear list.

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Received on Thursday, 13 January 2022 04:28:56 UTC