- Cultivate content indexing by language.
- Facilitate machine translation.
- Enable correct reading of the content by a synthesized speech tool.
- Improve the accessibility of content for people with disabilities.
- Improve the way content is taken into account by search engines and indexing tools.
Fill in the
lang attribute of the
html root element using the appropriate language code (as indicated in the registry maintained by IANA: http://www.iana.org/assignments/language-subtag-registry). In practice, for French this is: <html lang="fr"> (in HTML) et <html lang="fr" xml:lang="fr"> (in XHTML).
Otherwise, in more complex cases, the content language can be indicated by the different parent elements:
Find out more:
Verification consists in checking that the lang attribute of the
html element is present and relevant (or failing that check its descendant elements) in the source code.
In the source code of each page:
- Check that the default language of the content is indicated by the
langattribute of the
htmlelement, for example <html lang="fr"> (in HTML)
- If not, check for each content element that is is at least inherited form a parent element (
title, etc.) from its
Check the validity and relevance of the language code used. For this, use for example the Language Subtag Lookup Tool by Richard Ishida, https://r12a.github.io/app-subtags/.
Common cases of incorrect language codes include
jp instead of
ja for Japanese,
lu instead of
lb for Luxembourgish,
gr instead of
el for Greek,
lat instead of
la for Latin, and
oci instead of
oc for Occitan. Additionally, the codes
mul for "multiple languages" and
und for "undetermined language" must not be used in web content. Finally, the
xml:lang can also be entered in addition to the
lang attribute, but it is not sufficient to comply with this best practice.