Re: Alternatives for the term 'primary language'

Hi Andrew, All,

At 01:37 27/06/2006, Andrew Cunningham wrote:
WCAG tends to be ambiguous in a sense. The link between intended audience 
of a document and the language textual alternatives are provided in needs 
to be explicitly spelled out, most web developers I've interviewed don't 
get the distinction, or even see the need. Providing text alternatives in 
the national language is seen as sufficient.

For instance its common to see images (of the name of a language in that 
language) as a button to link to content in that language. Obviously the 
intended audience for that button/link are an audience who can read that 
language. Interestingly enough, the text of the alt attribute (if present) 
is not in that language, rather its most often in English. Ie the link is 
intended for one audience, but the alt attribute text ends up being for a 
completely different audience.

So you mean that, for example, the text in the image says 'Deutsch' (in an 
image link to the German version) but the alt text says 'German'. This type 
of text alternative is covered by sucess criterion 1.1.1 (first bullet): 
"If non-text content presents information or responds to user input, text 
alternatives serve the same purpose and present the same information as the 
non-text content. If text alternatives cannot serve the same purpose, then 
text alternatives at least identify the purpose of the non-text content." 
But the sucess criterion does not say anything about natural language: if 
the language of the text alternative is different from the language in the 
image, does it still "present the same information"? In my opinion, this 
case should fail, but this is not made explicit in WCAG or its supporting 
Maybe this case is also mentioned in one of the last-call comments, but 
I'll forward it to the WCAG list anyway.



P.S. This thread started at

Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Departement of Electrical Engineering - Research Group on 
Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 - 3001 Leuven-Heverlee - BELGIUM
tel: +32 16 32 85 51 


Received on Tuesday, 27 June 2006 08:43:01 UTC