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In this edition of the Localization Roundup we are covering how to change the languages on a website, how to choose default languages to display, technical localization tips, and more.

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Designing a language switch: Examples and best practices

Every company that localizes its website needs to decide how to design the language switcher. How can website users switch from English to Spanish or from Spanish to French or from whatever to whatever?

There are many options that can be used, such as a languages icon or the names of the languages or flags, but each of these options have pros and cons. (And some of them have mostly cons [like the flag option].)

Here’s an overview of the different options for how to design a language switching function for your website.

Automatically Change Website Language Based On Visitor Country

Another question that vexes companies as they localize their websites is how to choose the default language for website visitors. What language should you show a visitor when he or she pulls up your webpage?

One option is to base the default language on the location of of the visitor. This article, written by a company that provides technology to redirect visitors based on their location, explains how that works.

It also covers how to bypass the redirect if a user comes from a particular domain. That way you could set up different domains for different languages so that, for example, Spanish-speaking users who come to your website from your Spanish domain, will be directed to the Spanish version of your website.

How To Automatically Detect and Change Your Website Language

Another way to change which language displays for your visitors is to choose a language based on the users’ language setting on their browser. In other words, if their browser menu options display in English, then they will see your English website. If their browser options display in Spanish, then they will see your Spanish website.

This article explains why and how to do this.

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Internationalization Quick Tips for the Web

A technical document. If you are not very strong on coding, encoding, HTML, CSS, and all those other fancy things, you can just skip this one.

Nevertheless, this website, is run by the World Wide Web Consortium, an international group that decides on the standards for how the web works. So if you have technical people on your team who are working on the localization of your website, let them have a look at the recommendations here.

Key Dimensions of Complexity in Localization

As localization projects increase in complexity, having the right technology for managing the projects become more and more essential.

This article shows how localization projects can become more complex in three ways: increase in the number of personnel on the project, increase in number of languages, and increase in products being localized.

This article is somewhat promotional for their product, but it still does a good job of explaining how large-scale localization efforts call for specialized technology.

That’s our roundup for this week. Leave a comment below to share any great localization or translation articles you have read lately.

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