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RE: Question around WCAG 1.0

From: Jon Hanna <jon@spin.ie>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 12:03:00 -0000
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NDBBLCBLIMDOPKMOPHLHIEPOEJAA.jon@spin.ie>

> For example, I am looking at the home page, I've chosen to view 
> the site in Spanish and I go to the news section. Once in the 
> news section I choose to view an article that hasn't been 
> translated into Spanish yet, thus see an English article in a 
> Spanish page. Does this English article need to be tagged with 
> the "lang" attribute to specify it as English?

You would have:
<html
 lang="es"
 xml:lang="es"
 xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
  <!-- stuff in Spanish -->
  <div lang="en" xml:lang="en">
    <!-- stuff in English -->
  </div>
  <!-- maybe more stuff in Spanish -->
</html>

lang and xml:lang are probably more important in this case, in the case of the whole document being Spanish there is at least some change of language being inferred.

A warning (in Spanish) of "this document is currently only available in English) would probably also be a good idea.

> And, a similar yet difficult issue for me...
> 
> In allowing editors to enter content through the CMS they can 
> enter words that don't conform to the base language (such as 
> "monsieur" or "bleu" in an English page). Is guideline 4 in the 
> WCAG 1.0 meant to deal with these types of situations? Does the 
> use of non-base language words and sentences go against the 
> standard of making the language clear and simple?

In principal you should generally use something like:

<p>
  He is a <span lang="fr" xml:lang="fr">cordon-bleu</span> chef.
</p>

In practice this could be impractical, and raises questions like "is 'cordon-bleu' English or French?" given that the term is used in English.

I take as a guideline whether I would italicise the term if I only had visual rendering available. Indeed I use a class="foreign" attribute and CSS that class to italics so that the convention of italicising foreign terms is there for graphical users.

> To my knowledge there isn't any software on the market that can 
> interpret deviations in natural language.

I understand there is at least one screen reader that interprets language markup (lang and/or xml:lang).
Received on Thursday, 21 November 2002 06:56:12 GMT

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