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Re: lang attribute for foreign words found in Merriam Webster's dictionary?

for

From: John Foliot
Date: Apr 22, 2015 9:04AM


All,

I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with the idea that perpetuating the poor pronunciation of words - words that could be enunciated properly by simply using HTML the way it was designed to be used, and leveraging the ability of screen readers to switch language packs on the fly - no, I have to disagree that this is a good idea, let alone a best practice. I believe we can and should do better.

While I may not be a daily screen reader user, and my screen reader(s) are not personally fine-tuned or modified beyond default installation, none-the-less it is my experience that most screen readers ship by default with multiple language packs. Eloquence for JAWS Languages include: American English, British English, Castilian Spanish, Latin American Spanish, French, French Canadian, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Finnish; NVDA with eSpeak supports over 30 languages (http://espeak.sourceforge.net/languages.html), while VoiceOver ships with support for 24 languages (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201917) and so for those languages at least, using @lang markup will see the benefits of on-the-fly language switching. Further, even if the end user does not have a specific language pack installed, at least Jaws will deal with the issues proactively:
"If JAWS or MAGic only said, Russian, Greek, or Polish, instead of reading the text in those languages, this indicates that your speech synthesizer does not support those languages. Even so, JAWS and MAGic indicate the language being used."
- http://www.freedomscientific.com/Training/Surfs-Up/Languages.htm

My friend Chaals "... wouldn't mark up croissant, ennui, realpolitik or zeitgeist, but would mark up "joie de vivre"..." without further explanation as to his criteria for deciding which was or wasn't marked up (is it the difference between a word and a phrase? What about mañana? Is saying Man-ana - rhymes with banana - really the best user-experience we can deliver?), however personally, I see no harm, and some potential benefit in marking-up all foreign languages in my HTML documents as best as possible.

But not doing something, so-as to perpetuate a broken but familiar outcome, no, I can't accept that - sorry.

JF
​--
John Foliot
Principal Accessibility Consultant
Deque Systems Inc.
<EMAIL REMOVED>

Advancing the mission of digital accessibility and inclusion




-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Moore,Michael (DARS)
Sent: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 6:32 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] lang attribute for foreign words found in Merriam Webster's dictionary?

A final thought, you have to have the language installed on the screen reader for it to know how to pronounce the words in the provided language.

Mike Moore
Accessibility Coordinator,
Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
(512) 424-4159 (Office)
(512) 574-0091 (Cell)


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Moore,Michael (DARS)
Sent: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 8:30 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] lang attribute for foreign words found in Merriam Webster's dictionary?

Another thing to keep in mind is that when you use a screen reader you get used to the way it butchers certain words so when we cleverly trick the screen reader into pronouncing something correctly we are delivering unexpected behavior.

Mike Moore
Accessibility Coordinator,
Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
(512) 424-4159 (Office)
(512) 574-0091 (Cell)


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Cliff Tyllick
Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 4:22 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] lang attribute for foreign words found in Merriam Webster's dictionary?

Mike, I'll let the grammarians and usage nuts knock themselves out determining when a borrowed phrase becomes part of the language that borrows it.

From the standpoint of accessibility, there are two reasons for tagging a phrase with its human language:
• To help the software know which dictionary to use for spellchecking and, if requested, definitions.
• To determined which pronunciation rules should be used.

Often borrowed phrases lose both. So the best reference for pronunciation will be the same resource used for the rest of the page.

But if the reader should hear the phrase pronounced according to the rules of its own language, then you'll want to wrap the phrase in the tags for that language.

The point is, people who are listening to screen readers should hear the phrase pronounced in a familiar way. If the term is from French and always pronounced as in French, then wrap it in tags that identify it as French.

But, as is usually the case for many procedural terms used by our Texas Legislature, it might have come from Latin but you'd never be able to tell it by the way it's pronounced. To have any chance for the screen reader to produce the familiar sound, you'd have to leave those marked up as English.

Cliff Tyllick

Sent from my iPhone
Although its spellcheck often saves me, all goofs in sent messages are its fault.

> On Apr 21, 2015, at 3:30 PM, Mike Warner < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
>
> Hi again,
>
> as I'm going though the WCAG Checklist, I saw this:
>
> Individual words in another language that could be understood
> incorrectly or not at all are marked up using the lang attribute.
>
> What if the foreign words are in common English dictionaries? We
> don't use many, mainly in our art and culture courses, and the words
> all have accessible glossary spans next to them.
>
> Thanks,
> Mike
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
>