Identify Languages

7. Provide Identification for Languages

University sites generally identify each page's language as English.

This means screen readers will pronounce all text on the page as if it was written in English. For non-English text, the result is unintelligible gibberish.

If you are authoring content inside of a page that is a language other than English you will have to identify the language of that section or quote. Most content management systems provide a button for this; highlight the relevant content, click the button, and select the correct language from the list:

Set language button on formatting toolbar

Don't do This

Unidentified language

<p>Mi profesora de español esta embarazada.</p>

Pronounced/interpreted:
Am I professor Ade? A spaniel is too embarrassed. Uhh...

Do This

Identified language

<p lang="es">Mi profesora de español esta embarazada.</p>

Pronounced:
Mi profesora de español esta embarazada

Actually means:
My Spanish professor is pregnant.