Identifying Languages

Digital Commons sites generally identify each page's language as English. The sites rely on the Google Translate feature to translate content into non-English languages. In rare cases, agencies prefer to not use Google Translate and instead write non-English content themselves.

If you write content in a language other than English, you must identify that language. Otherwise, screen readers will pronounce the text as if it were English. That results in often unintelligible gibberish for non-English-language users. For example, without a language tag, "Español" is pronounced as "A Spaniel."

Best Practices

  • Use Google Translate to handle language translations.
  • If you must write non-English content, identify the language. Do so for each paragraph, list, link, and quote. For example: <p lang="es">Carolina del Norte es una tierra diversa, hogar de montañas y mar.</p>