Irregular reminder that flags like 🇬🇧 or 🇩🇪 or 🇮🇳 represent countries, not languages. yes, there are multiple languages spoken in 🇨🇭 or 🇺🇸, for example.

@alexandra I wonder if there is any single country in the world where everyone living in it (currently, not just officially) has one language in common.

Even the 47 inhabitants of the Pitcairn Islands have two commonly spoken languages. (English and Pitkern)
@alexandra the San Francisco municipal government speaks at least four languages, and that's one city.

places and languages do not correspond directly.

@alexandra And when they do, there's a good chance that some people are being forced to speak a language of the majority.

@alexandra @samgai there are multiple langauges spoken in every country on earth

@samgai btw i'm gladly surprised that flags as language symbols are finally removed from macos input selection menu, and instead they use two letter codes (though not any standard codes).

only flags left are those of custom keyboard layouts 💀

@samgai I don't see the problem, it works fine! 🇨🇦 see!

@samgai I see flags used a lot in language selection menus in software, especially games. And it's tempting to say "Of course, there's no good alternative in a context where you don't yet know what languages the user understands."

But there is: Print the name of each language *in that language*. That way, the only options the user doesn't understand are the ones they don't want to pick anyway.

@samgai so should we not use flag of country flags to indicate a language? i feel like it's often more convenient than only text

@claire Definitely don't ONLY use a flag. That only works for a minority of languages.

@claire If you use a name AND a flag, it can be more convenient for majority populations in nation states in Europe and South-East Asia, but it won't help people in the Americas or minorities much.

@samgai oh yea of course that's dumb if you have a list of a bunch of languages, i guess it can work in a bio or next to a name for most of them

@claire Only a minority of the world's languages can be somehow associated with a country flag.

@samgai i'll be honest i'm not an expert in vexillology so idk

@claire There are about 200 countries but at least thousands of languages.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

A Mastodon instance specializing in Vocaloid, UTAU, and anything relevant to vocalsynth culture.