When presenting links to content in different languages, consider the following:
Always use the name of the language in its local format
If you’re linking to a page in German, label it as ‘Deutsch’ — not ‘German’.
Think about how you’d find an English link on a Spanish page: if the author or designer used ‘inglés’, that wouldn’t be anywhere near as useful as simply writing ‘English’.
When possible, display all languages available
Users may not find links to content in their language if they are hidden behind a heading such as ‘Select language’ in English (or the main site language).
If your site has many language options, consider adopting an icon to signify to the user that different language options are available.
Furthermore, order languages either in importance or alphabetically based on the local format (for instance, a link to Spanish content should be appear under ‘e’ for ‘español’)
Consider the importance of change language links. For portal-type sites like Visit Dubai and Visit Melbourne above, users entering on the homepage might be more common. For other sites users searching in different languages might find content in their language through search engines. The language selector then is not as important, so positioning the change language link in the footer might be worth considering.
This is also important on mobile. If a language selector is vital, place it in the header. Otherwise the navigation menu is the obvious place for such a tool. If the selector is deemed to be less vital then the footer is a more discrete yet findable place.
Try autodetect the user’s language where possible
There are many ways to detect the language in a user’s browser. By doing so you can present a user with content in their language if it is available.
However, be sure to give an easy option to change languages: autodetection isn’t always 100% accurate.
Don’t use flags
Unless the content is specific to that country — don’t use flags!
Other suggestions? Please add your comment below if you have any further thoughts or techniques.