Thursday, June 23, 2022

Flag Icons to Change the Input Source

John Gruber:

[As] part of a company-wide effort to decouple national flags as icons to denote languages, the Input menu in MacOS now uses two letter codes instead (“US” for U.S. English, “GB” for British, etc.). [The] new policy does make sense for Apple — national flags carry political connotations that languages alone do not — but it’s unfortunate for users accustomed to scanning the menu for colorful icons at a glance when switching.

Two third-party developers have come to the rescue, with similar apps that restore the “pick a flag to change input sources” functionality[…]


2 Comments RSS · Twitter

Right. The main reason for not using flags to denote language is because countries are not languages. It also alienates people who have just moved somewhere.

"Oh, you'd like to use your native tongue? You're not one of us!"

No need to turn this into a jingoistic rallying point.

It's not quite so cut and dried, though. Why is “GB” now the symbol for English? Great Britain is the name of an island, not a language. Why is “CA” now the symbol for Canadian English? Canada is a country, not a language.

From my viewpoint the semantics have remained the same while the visual depiction has become worse.

Leave a Comment