Skip to content

Technique H58:Using language attributes to identify changes in the human language



This technique relates to 3.1.2: Language of Parts (Sufficient).


The objective of this technique is to clearly identify any changes in language on a page by using the lang attribute.

Allowed values for the lang attribute are indicated in the resources referenced below. Language tags use a primary code to indicate the language, and optional sub-codes (separated by hyphen characters) to indicate variants of the language. For instance, English is indicated with the primary code "en"; British English and American English can be distinguished by using "en-GB" and "en-US", respectively. Use of the primary code is important for this technique. Use of sub-codes is optional but may be helpful in certain circumstances.


Example 1: The use of the lang attribute to define a quote written in German

<blockquote lang="de">
    Da dachte der Herr daran, ihn aus dem Futter zu schaffen,
    aber der Esel merkte, daß kein guter Wind wehte, lief fort
    und machte sich auf den Weg nach Bremen: dort, meinte er,
    könnte er ja Stadtmusikant werden.

Other sources

No endorsement implied.



For each element in the document:

  1. Check that the human language of the content of the element is the same as the inherited language for the element as specified in HTML - The lang and xml:lang attributes.

For each lang attribute in the document:

  1. Check that the value of the lang attribute conforms to BCP 47: Tags for the Identification of Languages or its successor.
  2. Check that the language code matches the language of the content it applies to.

Expected Results

  • All checks above are true.
Back to Top