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Specifying Language in XHTML and HTML

From: M.T. Carrasco Benitez <mtcarrascob@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2006 15:11:39 +0100 (BST)
Message-ID: <20060803141139.19613.qmail@web37203.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
To: www-international@w3.org

These are comments to


Most of the comments in the followin posting are still relevant:


I highlight some aspects:

1) Language of the intended audience

This should simply be named "primary language" of something similar.

"Intended audience" is confusing. For example, if the document is
written in simple French intended for an audience of English speakers
learning French, it must be labelled "fr" (the language of the
document) and not "en" (the  intended audience).

The meaning is as the "Language" element in the Dublinc Core: 

 "The language of the intellectual content of the resource."

2) Specify the language only once

Best Practice 4 should also recommended for XHTML:

 <html lang="en">

and *not* the double language labelling

 <html lang="en" xml:lang="en">

Having double language labelling is unnecessary.

If one goes down this path, one should do the same for all ovelapping of
XML and HTML; e.g., 

 <p id="foo" xml:id="id">

3) Filenaming should be included

The best practice should also address how to indicate the language in
the filename; e.g.,


This is  of great practical relevance.

This is an "external" language labelling of the document, similar to
Content-Language; one for the protocol "file" and the other for the
protocol "http".


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Received on Friday, 4 August 2006 02:38:39 UTC

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