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Re: PRI - 9 LANG Attribute

From: <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 15:28:14 -0500
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <8525675F.0070BB9B.00@d54mta08.raleigh.ibm.com>

I agree with the AC Member comment that this should be lowered to a
priority 3.

My rationale:
In addition to the rationale that the user agents don't support it today,
even if they did, how does that improve accessibility?  I agree it improves
"international-ability"  - my ability to seek a person (or machine) that
can interpret the foreign phrase.

For example:
Home Page Reader (Japanese version) supports both Japanese and English web
pages without using the LANG attribute because most pages don't use the
LANG attribute.  Japanese pages are usually in a different character set
even though they have English text.  The English text is spoken with a
strong Japanese accent by the synthesizer.

Home Page reader (international version currently in beta) will support
English (U.K. and U.S.) Spanish, French, and German pages (not phrases
mid-stream) with and without the LANG attribute.  Switching software
text-to-speech engines mid-stream is proving very difficult.

Hearing a phrase in Japanese and/or seeing the phrase in Japanese does not
help me directly if I don't understand Japanese.
Helping me understand Japanese is not an "accessibility" issue, but a
translation or internationalization issue.

Please understand, I support the use of the LANG attribute and hope it's
wider adoption will facilitate automated translation techniques - after all
I work for an international company.  Leaving it in the WCAG document
raises this awareness, but leaving it a P1 or P2 misuses the definition and
reduces credibility.

Phill Jenkins     IBM (International Business Machines) Corporation
Received on Monday, 26 April 1999 16:31:38 UTC

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