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Re: Lang attribute on names


From: jp Jamous
Date: Jul 27, 2022 11:47AM

In my humble opinion, I think it is a best practice rather than a requirement. That's why WCAG excludes people's names. Let me give you an example using my name.
JP stands for Jean-Pierre, which is a French name

1. Jamous is an Arabic name, which means bull. That's why I can be bull-headed. :*Smiles*
Almost every person that I have met for the last 28 years in the States would pronounce my name incorrectly. That's because people are trying to pronounce it using the American dialect.

Even if I want to add a lang attribute to my name, I would not separate my first name from my last name. That would cause a weirdness in having the first part being spoken with a french TTS and the second part with an Arabic TTS.

So I leave it as English knowing quite well that screen readers are going to pronounce Pierre properly and mess up Jean and Jamous.

A screen reader user can have my name spelled out and the user would use his or her knowledge to figure out how to pronounce it. This is how sighted users would approach it as well. Those who have some French background will recognize Jean-Pierre. However, almost no one will figure out the proper way of pronouncing my last name even if they speak Arabic. It gets looked upon as famous but with a J instead of an F.

I think that's why WCAG does not recommend names to be a part of its compliance.

From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of Patrick H. Lauke
Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2022 3:38 AM
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Lang attribute on names

On 27/07/2022 08:28, Barry via WebAIM-Forum wrote: > The recent thread on the use of the lang attribute has prompted a question. > Should the lang attribute be used on foreign language propper nouns,
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On 27/07/2022 08:28, Barry via WebAIM-Forum wrote:

> The recent thread on the use of the lang attribute has prompted a question.

> Should the lang attribute be used on foreign language propper nouns, such as

> a persons name or the name of foreign cities? Im specifically thinking about

> an international sports page with lots of foreign names of players. It

> would be a hell of a task to put the lang attribute on each one, but should

> it be done to conform to a11y?

Purely for compliance aspect, note the exceptions listed in the SC

itself (which include "proper names":

"The human language of each passage or phrase in the content can be

programmatically determined except for *proper names*, technical terms,

words of indeterminate language, and words or phrases that have become

part of the vernacular of the immediately surrounding text."


Though I'd add that there may still be situations where providing a lang

attribute is useful to give proper hints to assistive technologies to

switch to different speech/language (e.g. if you have the main content

in English, but then have a person's name written in simplified Chinese

or Japanese or other non-roman alphabets).



Patrick H. Lauke

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