3.2. Use the lang attribute to indicate a change of language

If some of the content is in a language other than the primary language of the page, it must be identified using the lang attribute.

For example, on an English page:

<a href="…" lang="fr" hreflang="fr">Version française</a>


If the foreign language content is not tagged directly, use a <span> or <div> tag and populate the lang attribute.


It is not necessary to announce a change of language for:

  • Proper names.
  • Foreign words that have been incorporated into the dictionary of the primary language.
  • Foreign words that are pronounced and understood with the accent of the main language (i.e. “RSVP”, if the primary language is English).

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