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Re: Lang attribute and "old" latin

From: Alan Chuter <achuter@technosite.es>
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2008 09:09:18 +0200
Message-ID: <79cab0900804250009j78b8a95ay1708b1a691756e5d@mail.gmail.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Suppose that someone was thinking about incorporating support for
Latin in screenreaders and went crawling the web to find how much it
was used. If it wasn't marked (but "modern" languages often are), they
would conclude that there wasn't any. A chicken and egg problem.

If the rest of the text is in correct English, perhaps a quick spell
check would highlight where the non-English text occurs, making it
easier to mark up.


Alan Chuter,
Senior Web Accessibility Consultant, Technosite (www.technosite.es)
Researcher, Inredis Project (www.inredis.es/)
Email: achuter@technosite.es
Alternative email: achuter.technosite@yahoo.com
Blogs: www.blogger.com/profile/09119760634682340619

On 25/04/2008, John Foliot - Stanford Online Accessibility Program
<jfoliot@stanford.edu> wrote:
>  All,
>  As far as I know, current screen reading technology only supports a limited
>  number of languages.
>  I am in the process of reviewing a number of web documents that feature, in
>  part, a fair bit of "old Latin" (circa 13th century - it's a cool academic
>  project).  At any rate, W3C guidance states "Clearly identify changes in the
>  natural language of a document's text and any text equivalents (e.g.,
>  captions)." *AND* the ISO code for Latin is either "LA" (ISO 639-1) or "LAT"
>  (ISO 639-2) so clearly this *CAN* be done.
>  As well, wikipedia suggests that "Screen readers without Unicode support
>  will read a character outside Latin-1 as a question mark, and even in the
>  latest version of JAWS, the most popular screen reader, Unicode characters
>  are very difficult to read."  (Is this true, I was not aware of this.  The
>  document often uses &thorn; throughout this old Latin text - is this going
>  to be an issue?)
>  The question is, is there any real advantage gained by adding this
>  information (lang="lat") to the content?  It is/would be a huge undertaking,
>  and if *not* done is pedantically/dogmatically wrong (fails WCAG P1 4.1),
>  however I am at a loss to explain any real value in doing it to the client
>  as at the end of the day I cannot myself find a "real justification" that
>  would improve the accessibility of the document.
>  Thoughts, arguments (either side) and other support gratefully accepted.
>  Cheers!
>  JF
Received on Friday, 25 April 2008 07:09:52 UTC

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