When content is displayed in a language that is different from the primary language of the page, it must be indicated in a way that assistive technologies understand. This ensures that screen readers switch to the appropriate accent and pronunciation for that language.
Accessibility Requirements for 3.1.2 Language of parts (AA)
- Content that is written in a different language from the primary language of the page, is identified using HTML (the lang attribute).
Common mistakes for 3.1.2 Language of parts (AA)
- Content uses a different language, but the change in language is not identified in the HTML;
- vuses a different language, and the wrong language is identified in the HTML.
The following are common mistakes that are considered failures of Success Criterion 3.1.2 by the WCAG Working Group
FAQs for 3.1.2 Language of parts (AA)
What are the benefits of Language of parts?
Visual browsers would be able to display correct characters for the language of parts and change the reading order for the languages that have right to left reading
Braille translating software would be able to provide correct Braille characters and contractions
Screen readers would be able to switch to apt pronunciation rules
Traditional browsers would be able to process the texts aptly
Machine based translation technologies would be able to translate the texts from one language into another when there is a change of language
In the modern browsers, when such secondary language texts occur, users would be able to look up the meaning using a dictionary.
How to ensure Language of benefits are in place?
Set your website’s main language by meta tag (Guideline 3.1.1).
Add a language attribute to content that is not in the main language.
Why is this important?
Specifying any changes in language for the content enables browsers, web applications, plug-ins and extensions to present the characters accurately. It also allows assistive technologies to load the appropriate pronunciation values which enables the user to better understand the material presented.
HTML language codes match the ISO language codes standard.
If you have an alternative language version or translation of some content, link to it with the name of the language in that language (for example, ‘Francais’, ‘Deutsch’) and add a language tag to the link.
Ensure to use appropriate language code (lan=”fr”) wherever the text is in other language
Ensure appropriate language token is used in the lang attribute (lang=”pt-br”).
Beware of the exceptions too.