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RE: alt text in 2 languages?


From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Apr 21, 2004 9:23AM

On Wed, 21 Apr 2004 <EMAIL REMOVED> wrote:

> The simple answer is that although you can specify the language in the <img>
> tag, lang="it", you can't specify two languages in the image tag and most
> certainly, you can't specify a change of language in the alt attribute

Indeed - this is one of the drawbacks of the principle that the
alternative text is an attribute value, hence plain text. With
<object>, it would be essentially better, but unfortunately <object> is
not a feasible way to embed images now or the next few years.

(_Very_ theoretically, you could indicate changes in language in plain
text using "language tags" as defined in the Unicode standard, i.e. as
control character type data inside a string. But I would be extremely
surprised if any browser even tried supporting that.)

> I wonder however, if (despite the additional effort) you might create an
> image map from the image and specify an alt for the two areas with different
> lang attributes.

Or maybe the image could be split into two images, each with an alt text
of its own?

On the other hand, lang attributes are not very essential in practical
accessibility at present. Few browsers support them at all, and users
probably understand the message even if a speech browser reads an Italian
word by English rules or vice versa.

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

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