W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > October 2003

Re: CSS2.1 :lang

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2003 18:05:02 +0300 (EEST)
To: Alexander Savenkov <w3@hotbox.ru>
Cc: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.58.0310171756080.6179@korppi.cs.tut.fi>

On Fri, 17 Oct 2003, Alexander Savenkov wrote:

> > I know the arguments. Yet, actual use of lang and xml:lang attributes is
> > very limited, and partly _wrong_. Try using lang="ru" for transliterated
> > Russian text and view the page on IE and you probably see what I mean.
>
> I can't see what you mean. Tell me what happens.

See http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/kielimerkkaus/4.html#trans
It's in Finnish, but the text with green background should show what I
mean, on IE for example. The browser changes font _for Latin letters_ when
I use lang="ru" containing transliterated Russian.

So instead of helping in styling, the lang attribute creates a problem -
which is perhaps easily solvable in CSS for those browsing situations
where CSS is enabled, but still.

> > (It is a fundamental flaw in language markup that there is no way to
> > indicate the writing system. But language does not change when the letters
> > are transliterated, does it?)
>
> It does.

So what lang attribute should I use for transliterated Russian.

> Russians don't normally transliterate letters

I know, but others transliterate Russian. And the dual problem exists when
Russians write foreign words in Cyrillic letters.

> and it's hard
> to read transliteration though a standard exists.

_Several_ standards exist. That is one of the problems. There is no way to
indicate which transliteration has been used (which is a problem separate
from indicating the script - the same Latin script can be used in many
different ways for transliterations).

> Russian is currently
> written in Cyrillic script only, changing it to Arabic or Lating would
> change the language.

Several peoples have changed the script of their language, even rather
recently. They have not changed their language. But my point was about
transliteration (or transcription).

> That's what the xml:lang="" is for. Markup your CSS examples with
>
> <code xml:lang="">tr { vertical-align: top; }</code>
>
> (because CSS is not a human language)
>
> and a smart spell-checker will skip the block.

And how does a speech browser _read_ it?

> > - what do you do with words that contain parts from different
> >   languages?
>
> Mark them up accordingly. If I had to write the word "web-page" in
> Russian I would type (transliterated):

That's an easy case. What about declination suffixes, which may induce
changes in word stem?

-- 
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Friday, 17 October 2003 11:05:09 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Monday, 27 April 2009 13:54:24 GMT