Internationalization (i18n) Activity

Making the World Wide Web worldwide!

Group pages

Activity Statement

i18n WG

i18n Interest Group

i18n Tag Set (ITS) IG

Chinese Layout Task Force

Indic Layout Task Force

Community groups

W3C Validator Suite
Includes i18n Checker

Site links

Getting Started
Resource types
Mail archives
Aggregated data
News by category
News archives
July 2011 (13)
July 2009 (10)
June 2009 (10)
June 2008 (13)

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Category: New resource


New article: Text size in translation

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When text is translated from one language to another, the length of the source and translated text is likely to be different. This article provides background material that will briefly explore some of the systematic differences.

By Richard Ishida, W3C.

Planet i18n launched

Go to Planet i18n

Planet i18n has just been launched by the I18n Core Working Group. It gathers together posts from various blogs that talk about internationalization (i18n). While it is hosted by the W3C Internationalization Activity, the content of the individual entries represent only the opinion of their respective authors and does not reflect the position of the Internationalization Activity.

If you own a blog with a focus on internationalization, and want to be added or removed from this aggregator, please get in touch with Richard Ishida at

Categories: Highlight, New resource

New Working Group Note: Specifying Language in XHTML & HTML Content

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This document provides best practices related to the practical aspects of specifying language in XHTML/HTML content. Content authors can use these to ensure that their HTML is easily adaptable for an international audience. These best practices are best addressed from the start of content development if unnecessary costs and resource issues are to be avoided later on.

Editor: Richard Ishida.

Categories: Highlight, New resource

New Recommendation: Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) Version 1.0

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The World Wide Web Consortium today released Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) Version 1.0 as a W3C Recommendation. Creators of XML content can use the ITS set of elements and attributes to prepare schemas and documents for localization and to internationalize them for a global audience, whether you are creating a new schema or working with an established one. Implementations provided for DTDs, XML Schema and Relax NG can be used with new or existing vocabularies like XHTML, DocBook, and OpenDocument.

Categories: Highlight, New resource

New tests: IDN display

See test page 1, test page 2
See the results of test page 1, test page 2

These tests check whether a user agent displays IDNs (Internationalized Domain Names) as Unicode, punycode or otherwise in the status bar. User agents that try to detect possible homograph attacks do so in different ways. These tests explore some of those approaches.

New article: Language on the Web

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Getting Started material: This is a second in a proposed series of pages that will introduce you to key internationalization topics and tasks, and direct you towards articles or resources on the W3C Internationalization subsite that will take you to the next level of understanding.

This document introduces topics related to declaring the human language of your content, and related topics, such as language-based styling, content negotiation, and user navigation.

By Richard Ishida, W3C.


New tutorial: Declaring Language in XHTML and HTML

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Information about the language in use on a page is important for accessibility, styling, searching, and other reasons. In addition, language information that is typically transmitted between the user agent and server can be used to help improve navigation for users and the localizability of your site. This tutorial will help you take advantage of the opportunities that are available now and in the near future by declaring language information appropriately.
By following this tutorial you should be able to:

  • recognize the available alternatives for declaring language, and how they differ,
  • understand the difference between metadata about the expected language of the audience and the text-processing language,
  • choose the best way of declaring language for your content
  • locate information about how to specify language attribute values.

New tests: UTF-8 auto-detection

Link to first test page

This series of tests checks whether a user agent automatically recognizes that a file declared as US-ASCII is really UTF-8 encoded, and displays the text as UTF-8, even if the encoding declarations say otherwise.

Initial test results are also provided.

Categories: New resource, Test

New article: CSS3 and International Text

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The CSS3 modules currently in development will introduce a large number of properties designed to support non-Latin text, from vertical script support to kashida justification, from ruby positioning to list numbering. This article will give you a glimpse of some of the properties that lie in store, and discuss how you can help to make these improvements a reality.

New tutorial: Creating (X)HTML Pages in Arabic & Hebrew

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Getting bidirectional text to display correctly can sometimes appear baffling and frustrating, but it need not be so. If you have struggled with this or have yet to start, this tutorial should help you adopt the best approach to marking up your content, and explain enough of how the bidirectional algorithm works that you will understand much better the root causes of most of your problems. It also addresses some common misconceptions about ways to deal with markup for bidirectional content.

At the end of this tutorial you should be able to:

  • create effective XHTML and HTML pages containing text written in the Arabic or Hebrew (or other right-to-left) scripts,
  • understand the basics of how the Unicode bidirectional algorithm works, so that you can understand why bidirectional text behaves the way it does, and how to work around problems,and
  • take decisions about the appropriateness of alternatives to markup.

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