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foreign language tags

 
 
Geebay
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      12-29-2004
Hello,

I'm working on a site that uses multiple languages, sometimes more than one
langauge per page.

Normally for a French page, I would add the "fr" attrib to the HTML tag and
also implant in the meta http-equiv 'content-language' tag as well.

When I am including more than one language on a page, say, French, Spanish &
Portugese, it there any way of including more than one language attrib in a
tag? or - how might I code for search engines to tell them that this page
is a multi language page?

thanks for any tips or advice..

GB


 
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Leif K-Brooks
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      12-29-2004
Geebay wrote:
> When I am including more than one language on a page, say, French, Spanish &
> Portugese, it there any way of including more than one language attrib in a
> tag?


<p lang="fr">C'est franšais.</p>
<p lang="en">This is English.</p>
 
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Jukka K. Korpela
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      12-29-2004
"Geebay" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I'm working on a site that uses multiple languages, sometimes more
> than one langauge per page.


More than one language on one page should normally be avoided. Even
people who know two or more of the languages probably want to read the
page in _one_ language. Exceptions include links to the other language
versions (since the link texts are best written in the language of the
linked page) and foreign-language quotations in scientific documents
where it is essential to quote the original text.

> Normally for a French page, I would add the "fr" attrib to the HTML
> tag


That's fine, though mostly just a matter of principle. Few programs
utilize such information.

> and also implant in the meta http-equiv 'content-language' tag
> as well.


Why? I don't know of any software that makes any use of such tags, and
they are unnecessary kludge.

> When I am including more than one language on a page, say, French,
> Spanish & Portugese, it there any way of including more than one
> language attrib in a tag?


No. An element may have one lang attribute only. But different elements
may have, in their start tags, different lang attributes, of course.
So you simply use the lang attribute on an element, and create an
element for the purpose if needed - e.g. using the semantically empty
grouping element <span> (for inline text) or <div> (for blocks).

> or - how might I code for search engines
> to tell them that this page is a multi language page?


I haven't seen any evidence of any public search engine paying any
attention to any explicit indications of document language. They prefer
making their own guesswork. This is one reason for using mostly just
one language inside a document, since the guesswork methods probably
don't recognize language changes inside a document very well.

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html


 
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