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Re: screenreader support for language subcodes

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2008 11:17:31 -0500
Message-ID: <003601c86d92$c5910ed0$0601a8c0@HANDS>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "Christophe Strobbe" <christophe.strobbe@esat.kuleuven.be>
Cc: "WCAG" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

beginning with I think JAWS 8 I know it's in there because I'm using it, We 
have the following setting which may address this:
"This check box determines if JAWS switches to a different language to 
account for dialects within the same base language.

 For example, if this feature is checked, and JAWS is reading, in English, a 
Web page that supports US English, UK English, and Australian English, JAWS
will not switch between languages since the base language is English. 
However, if JAWS encounters another language, such as German or French, it 
will switch
to that language."
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Christophe Strobbe" <christophe.strobbe@esat.kuleuven.be>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: "WCAG" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 10:54 AM
Subject: screenreader support for language subcodes


HTML provides attributes for language information. "Language tags"
are used to identify languages. The primary subtag [1] can be
supplemented with additional subtags for script, region, variant
etctera (see the tutorial Language tags in HTML and XML [2]) although
it is recommended to keep them as short as possible.

The HTML specification also defines how language codes should be
interpreted [3]: user agents should favour an exact match, but should
also consider matching primary codes to be sufficient. However, I
recently ran some tests that showed that JAWS interprets language
codes differently: if there is no exact match, JAWS appears to fall
back to the default language (which is set by the user), even if the
primary subtag of a composite language tag is supported. In other
words, with JAWS configured to British English as the default
language, a page with 'lang="de"' is read in German (language
detection) but a page with 'en-US' are read in British English
instead of American English. With JAWS configured to American English
as the default language, a page with 'lang="de"' is read in German
(language detection) but a page with 'en-GB' are read in American
English instead of British English.
I haven't tested this yet with other default languages or other AT,
but I have set up a page at <http://tinyurl.com/2dbcxl> that links to
six test pages with different language tags. I would appreciate it if
people could run some tests with other default lnaguages and other
AT. I will then add the test results to the table at the bottom of the page.

[1] See Codes for the Representation of Names of Languages:
[2] <http://www.w3.org/International/articles/language-tags/>
[3] <http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/dirlang.html#h-8.1.3>

Best regards,


Please don't invite me to LinkedIn, Facebook, Quechup or other
"social networks". You may have agreed to their "privacy policy", but
I haven't.

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 Tuesday, 12 February 2008 16:17:51 UTC

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