Planning Kit for a Quality Site for Small and Medium Sized Museums

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Digitalisation of cultural heritage is the first step toward the constitution of a digital Europe. On-line access to networked contents can contribute significantly to the education of citizens and to their enjoyment of the cultural heritage. The effects on the development of cultural tourism may also be very significant. In order to attain these goals it is vital that resources and contents be available in various languages and it is therefore advisable that Web sites be written in different languages.

In order to offer users a choice of languages, the following points should be taken into account:

  • Choices should be offered in the terminology of the language indicated (e.g. “Italiano” and not “Italian”).
  • The language selector buttons should be clearly visible in the heading and in the Page Structure.
  • If the version in a language other than the main language of the site is only available for certain pages of the site, then the language selector button should be inserted only into these pages and the user should be warned (for example via link title) when a link leads to a page in another language.
  • National flags should not be used as language indicators: National flags symbolise nations, not languages.

Useful links

ISO language standards

English country names and code elements

Online examples

National Palace Museum, Taiwan

Vincent Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Eternal Egypt

Tate, London

© Minerva Project 2005-03, last revision 2006-03-27, edited by WP5, Committee for the development of a prototype of public cultural websites.
URL: www.minervaeurope/structure/workinggroups/userneeds/prototipo/progproto/interoperabilita/multilinguismo_e.html