June 12, 2011, 3:16 a.m.
posted by astropy
Specifying A Page's Language
While saving with the proper encoding and declaring that encoding is essential, it can also be useful to specify the main language in which your page is written. This information may be used by search engines to determine which pages satisfy a language-limited match, or perhaps by a server so that it can serve the appropriate version of a document.
To specify a page's language:
In XHTML, within the opening html tag, type xml:lang= "code" lang="code", where code is the abbreviation for your page's main language, as well as any subtags you may want to specify.
Figure. Specify the principal language in the html tag. Here I've used fr for French. You can override that value in individual elements, as I've done for the English paragraph at the bottom of this Web page.
21. Internet Explorer for Mac displays guillemet quotes when the language specified is French but curly quotes if the language is English.