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Page with xml:lang set on the HTML and P elements Screen reader compatibility

Last updated: April 7, 2019

Expected Result: works in a screen reader

Actual Result: causes problems in 6 screen reader / browser combinations

In English 'active table' is pronounced 'act-if tay-bill'. In French 'active table' is pronounced 'act-eef tab-le'. In English 'radio' is pronounced 'ray-day-oh'. In German 'radio' is pronounced 'rah-di-oh'.

By default NVDA 2018 uses Windows OneCore voices, which only support language switching if the appropriate Windows language pack is installed. Changing NVDA settings to use the eSpeak voice allows language switching without additional language packs.

WCAG Technique: WCAG 3.1.1 WCAG 3.1.2 Test page for HTML xml:lang

Code used for this test:


        <html xml:lang='fr'>
        <head> 
            <title>Addition Report</title>
        </head>
        <body>
            <p>Active table</p>
            <p xml:lang='de'>radio</p>
        </body>
        </html>
    

Reliability Trend

This graph shows reliability over time for this code in NVDA, JAWS and Voiceover. Other screen readers don't have enough historical data yet to plot trends.

100%80%60%40%20%0%20140%20150%20160%20170%20180%

Change History

Last updated: April 7, 2019

Screen readerBrowserModeNotesWhat the user hears
Fail NVDA 2018.4FF60 ReadingPronounced as English. Ignores xml:lang. Act-if tay-bill. Ray-day-oh.
Fail NVDA 2018.4IE11 ReadingPronounced as English. Ignores xml:lang. Act-if tay-bill. Ray-day-oh.
OK NVDA 2018.4Chrome 73 ReadingPronounced as French and German. Act-eef tab-le. Rah-di-oh.
Fail JAWS 2018.1811.2FF60 ReadingPronounced as English. Ignores xml:lang. Act-if tay-bill. Ray-day-oh.
Fail JAWS 2018.1811.2IE11 ReadingPronounced as English. Ignores xml:lang. Act-if tay-bill. Ray-day-oh.
OK JAWS 2018.1811.2Chrome 73 ReadingPronounced as French and German. Act-eef tab-le. Rah-di-oh.
Fail VoiceOver macOS 10.13Safari 12.1 ReadingPronounced as English. Ignores xml:lang. Act-if tay-bill. Ray-day-oh.
Fail VoiceOver iOS 11.4Safari iOS 11.4TouchPronounced as English. Ignores xml:lang. Act-if tay-bill. Ray-day-oh.

SortSite rules: AccPageLangMissing AccWcag1-4.1.1

Test notes

All tests were carried out with screen reader factory settings. JAWS in particular has a wide variety of settings controlling exactly what gets spoken.

Screen readers allow users to interact in different modes, and can produce very different results in each mode. The modes used in these tests are:

In the «What the user hears» column: