HTML lang Attribute

The lang attribute specifies the language of an element‘s content. Its value is not visible, but it is used for site accessibility, translations, and SEO purposes.

Example

#

Three <p> tags with different lang attributes.
The languages are English, Spanish, and Korean.

This text is displayed in English.

Este texto se muestra en español.

이 텍스트는 한국어로 표시됩니다.

<p lang="en" style="background-color:#f6f8ff;padding:25px;">
   This text is displayed in English.
</p>
<p lang="es" style="background-color:#f6f8ff;padding:25px;">
   Este texto se muestra en español.
</p>
<p lang="ko" style="background-color:#f6f8ff;padding:25px;">
   이 텍스트는 한국어로 표시됩니다.
</p>

Using lang

The lang attribute specifies the language of an element's content.

This attribute is used for site accessibility, translations, and SEO purposes.

The lang value must be a 2-character value from the ISO Language Code list.

Example values: en for English, de for German, zh for Chinese, and zu for Zulu.

Values can also include region, such as en-GB, for English from Great Britain

Note:   lang is a global attribute that can be applied to any tag.

Note:   The lang attribute has no visual effect. It only adds semantics, i.e. additional meaning, to an element.


Syntax

<tag lang="lang" />

Values

#

Value Description
language-code-country-code The first 2 characters represent the language code of the page.
The last two characters represent the country code (optional).

Elements with a lang attribute

The lang attribute is a global attribute that can be applied to any element.

However, it is meaningful only on elements with text. Which are these?

Here are some elements:

  • lang on <html> defines the language for a page
  • lang on <p> defines the language for a paragraph
  • lang on <input> defines the language for an input control
  • lang on <textarea> defines the language for a textarea
  • And others...

Browser support

Here is when lang support started for each browser:

Chrome
4 Jan 2010
Firefox
2 Oct 2006
IE/Edge
1 Oct 2013
Opera
15 Jul 2013
Safari
6 Jul 2012

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