The ‘lang’ Attribute

Charl van Niekerk talks about using The ‘lang’ Attribute to mark up multilingual text, something that is not always straightforward.

I’ve been thinking a bit about this as well, since I sometimes write whole posts or just part of a post in Swedish.

Posted on February 15, 2005 in Accessibility, Quicklinks, Web Standards


  1. Very nice. I have had the fortune of training on real equipment for the blind as part of an web-accessibility course at the dutch institute for the blind. IBM homepage reader really NEEDS those “lang” attribs, you’d be surprised how many foreign words are used and mispronounced in the average site’s text.

    I think it’s a shame though that the developer’s edition of IBM homepage-reader can only browser to a restricted number of IBM-related sites. So it’s useless for testing your own sites unless you pull some tricks.

  2. February 16, 2005 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Listening to Swedish text read by an English speaking screen reader is hilarious, but not entirely impossible to undeerstand.

    I didn’t know that about IBM HPR. Seems kind of pointless to have a developer’s edition if it’s that restricted.

  3. Only the free “trial” version is restricted to IBM related site. Web developers should and are encouraged to purchase the product to preform testing. HPR even comes with developer guidance. Each additional copy of HPR is only $79 - a very fair price for it’s capabilities in my opinion.

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