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Re: This week's article: Content Language


From: Dejan Kozina
Date: Jan 23, 2006 4:45PM

Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
> There should be no splash pages.
Well, I admit 'splash' was an unfortunate shorthand for a starting page
allowing the visitor to get a summary of the website in more than one
language and proceed further by choosing his preferite language (rest
assured I wasn't suggesting an overweight Flash animation dancing all
around the screen estate :-).
By the way, when you use a multilingual CMS to serve content it just
makes sense to have visitors choose a language as soon as they come along...

> Any choice for primary is better than a splash page. Besides, you can
> use language negotiation at the HTTP level to decide on the primary
> language according to user preferences as expressed by the browser.
Letting the user choose for himself is still the most foolproof way. The
percent of people that know that their browser is configurable at all is
getting smaller by the day.

> No, the lang attribute should not be omitted from <html>. Instead, a
> bilingual document should have one language there and the other
> language
> in lang attributes for the elements in that other language.
I'll defer to the W3C here:

> Say no to bilingual pages. They confuse people and alienate them. Even
> in a "bilingual" country, most people find text in the other language
> at
> least mildly disturbing when it appears along with a text in their
> native language.
Well, there are places where the visitor will be strongly alienated if
you choose the wrong language to welcome him, and I happen to live in one...
Letting them choose is a way to play it safe. As for those disturbed by
a language not their own, well, as I belong to an ethnic minority I'm
daily made aware of people going nuts if they only happen to hear my
language spoken on the street (to which they sometimes react with racist
agressions), so I don't particularly care if they're disturbed...

All said, the real world has a way all of its own of getting in the way...


Dejan Kozina
Dolina 346 (TS) - I-34018 Italy
tel./fax: +39 040 228 436 - cell.: +39 348 7355 225
http://www.kozina.com/ - e-mail: <EMAIL REMOVED>