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RE: Usefulness of language annotations

From: Gunderson, Jon R <jongund@illinois.edu>
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2014 14:07:18 +0000
To: Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
CC: "'Richard Ishida'" <ishida@w3.org>, "'Jens O. Meiert'" <jens@meiert.com>, "'W3C WAI GL'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <46739F12637CC94E82F75FF874E4A1473645F959@CITESMBX6.ad.uillinois.edu>

One of my first web accessibility problems at Illinois was foreign language classes.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) had instituted a new foreign language requirement around 2000 which resulted in almost tripling the enrollment of foreign language classes.  

Do you think the university was going to triple the number of instructors in the foreign language departments?  


Instead they decided to use new (i.e. at least at that time) web based learning systems in conjunction with traditional class room instruction to make learning more efficient.  The instructional websites had both English and another language on them.  Without information about language changes it was impossible for a screen reader user to know when to change the language of their synthesizer.  Even at that time at least JAWS was supported language changes.  

The lack of language change information resulted in one student voluntarily switching to a dead language (e.g. Latin from Spanish) since the Latin course did not use the web based technologies. 

Language change information is critical for language instruction resources.


-----Original Message-----
From: Janina Sajka [mailto:janina@rednote.net] 
Sent: Monday, August 11, 2014 2:08 PM
To: John Foliot
Cc: 'Richard Ishida'; 'Jens O. Meiert'; 'W3C WAI GL'
Subject: Re: Usefulness of language annotations

I'm interested to collect specifics on where this important functionality is supported.

So, John says JFW will honor inline lang markup. Is that with IE? FF?
Chrome? Any/all of the above?

And, what about NVDA? Window-Eyes?

I am given to understand that IOS will do this for Voice Over, though I believe their approach isn't relying exclusively on the markup.

It seems Voice Over on OS X does not support this, at least I haven't succeeded with it.

Also, Orca on Linux and Talkback on Android do not support this.

Speaking personally, I would regard dropping <lan> as a serious loss, even though I don't see as much integration with TTS across platforms as I would like. What else is there?

No, we can't expect UA's to do this. We have the example of "chat" in en and fr. What language is the following?

Still, still, still ...

Is it a line of something in English? Perhaps poetry? Or, is it the title of a famous Austrian Christmas carol?


John Foliot writes:
> Richard Ishida wrote:
> >
> >
> > A voice browser ought to be able to tell that 'chat' in English is 
> > not pronounced the same as 'chat' in French, even if it can't speak 
> > French (though presumably it might at some point).
> Yes! Screen readers like JAWs will switch language profiles 
> 'on-the-fly' when @lang is used in-line. For example, Richard's 
> example, if marked-up, would use the French enunciation: <p>The french 
> language translation of cat is <span lang="fr">chat</span>.</p> I can 
> provide an MP3 file if you need/want Jens - ping me directly if you want it.
> JF


Janina Sajka,	Phone:	+1.443.300.2200
		Email:	janina@rednote.net

Linux Foundation Fellow
Executive Chair, Accessibility Workgroup:	http://a11y.org

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
Chair,	Protocols & Formats	http://www.w3.org/wai/pf
	Indie UI			http://www.w3.org/WAI/IndieUI/
Received on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 14:09:39 UTC

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