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Language Subtags (Techniques H57 and H58)

From: Christophe Strobbe (on behalf of BenToWeb) <christophe.strobbe@esat.kuleuven.be>
Date: Fri, 01 Feb 2008 21:12:31 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org


Techniques H57 ("Using language attributes on the html element") and 
H58 ("Using language attributes to identify changes in the human 
language") are silent on language subtags. However, the BenToWeb 
project found unexpected behaviour when language subtags were used. 
At least one screen reader (JAWS 8.0, both with Internet Explorer 6 
and Firefox 2) ignored the language markup and used its default 
language for speech synthesis when a language subcode was used on the 
'html' element.

We developed several test cases with language subcodes. With JAWS set 
to American English, sc3.1.1_l1_006 [1] (American English), 
sc3.1.1_l1_007 [2] (British English) and sc3.1.1_l1_008 [3] (language 
code for British English) are read as American English; with JAWS set 
to British English, sc3.1.1_l1_006, sc3.1.1_l1_007 and sc3.1.1_l1_008 
are all read as British English. So it seems that language subcodes 
can't be relied on by web developers.

[1] http://www.bentoweb.org/ts/XHTML1_TestSuite3/metadata/sc3.1.1_l1_006
[2] http://www.bentoweb.org/ts/XHTML1_TestSuite3/metadata/sc3.1.1_l1_007
[3] http://www.bentoweb.org/ts/XHTML1_TestSuite3/metadata/sc3.1.1_l1_008

Best regards,

Christophe Strobbe

Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
Research Group on Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 bus 2442
B-3001 Leuven-Heverlee
tel: +32 16 32 85 51

Disclaimer: http://www.kuleuven.be/cwis/email_disclaimer.htm
Received on Friday, 1 February 2008 20:15:19 UTC

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