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Re: implementing the lang attribute

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2003 19:20:45 +0200
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
To: Melinda <geekchic@geekchic.com>
Message-Id: <27D6111C-C2B2-11D7-B068-000A958826AA@sidar.org>

This is really an internationalisation question, but since it is 
required for accessibility it makes sense to look for answers here.

three letter codes: According to XML 1.0 second edition you must use 
the two-letter codes -- http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml#sec-lang-tag - and 
although it seems to foreshadow moving to 3-letter codes that change 
doesn't appear to have been made in the draft of XML 1.1. Same thing 
goes for HTML -- 

Dialects: According to that bit in the HTML spec, you can identify 
languages as spoken in a particular country. Since simplified or 
traditional chinese are the common forms in different countries you 
might be able to use that. Latin American Spanish is not, in any case, 
a single dialect - so you may as well identify the source country...

just  my 2 bits worth - there are people more expert at 
internationalisation than me


On Wednesday, Jul 30, 2003, at 18:34 Europe/Zurich, Melinda wrote:

> Hi, all.
> The company I work for is currently trying to do due diligence in 
> correctly implementing the "lang" attribute on the <HTML> tag as 
> recommended by WCAG guidelines.  Simple as it may seem, we have run 
> into a few questions for which we are not able to find ready sources 
> of answers.
> 1) we needed to standardize on one ISO standard for all our language 
> information in our web publishing systems company wide. Since the 
> 3-letter ISO 639 code is more complete, we have chosen that.  The 
> references on the W3C guidelines show all the examples using 2 letter 
> codes.  Will the 3-letter codes also work?  e.g., lang="eng-us" or 
> lang="fre"
> 2) There are certain dialects for which we can not find a satisfactory 
> representation in W3C documentation.  Are there standard ISO / W3C 
> representations for these languages? if so, what are they?  The 
> languages we are struggling with are:
> Traditional Chinese
> Simplified Chinese
> Latin American Spanish
> Any answers you could provide would be appreciated. Also, if there is 
> an online reference that spells these things out I would love to 
> bookmark it and share it with my colleagues.
> Much obliged,
> Melinda
Charles McCathieNevile                          Fundación Sidar
charles@sidar.org                                http://www.sidar.org
Received on Wednesday, 30 July 2003 13:21:33 UTC

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