Language of Page
Success Criterion 3.1.1 (Level A)


Is the main language of the content properly identified in the code on each page of your site or application?

Why is this important

Specifying the main language of page content within the code enables browsers to present the font characters accurately and also supports assistive technologies that translate text to synthetic speech to use the correct pronunciation. This allows users of all abilities to better understand the material presented.

Whom does it benefit?

Example 1:

As a person who is blind,
I want my screen reader to load the appropriate pronunciation values for the language of the content,
so that I can more easily comprehend the material presented.

Example 2:

As a person who relies on captions for synchronized media,
I want the characters in the captions to be consistent with the language of the media
so that I can understand the media content.

Example 3:

As a person who is learning a new language,
I want my Text to Speech software to pronounce the content accurately
so that I can understand the material presented.

Example 4:

As a person with reading difficulties,
I want the content presented accurately
so that I can understand the characters and symbols.

What should you do?

Ensure that each page of the site or application has the correct language (e.g. Arabic, Chinese, English) assigned to it.

How do you do it?

Look up an appropriate language code for the main language used in the site or application page. If an application page is in English, the default human language should be identified as (en) by the “lang” attribute on the html element.

  • Other examples: French – fr, Chinese – zh, German – de.

Need technical guidance?

Technical guidance is available for implementing this Success Criterion at the Understanding Success Criterion 3.1.1 - Language of Page page.

Additional Resources to help you: