The other day Chris wrote about how the CodePen team added
lang='en' to the html element in all pens for accessibility reasons and I thought it was pretty interesting but I suddenly wanted to learn more about that attribute because I’ve never designed a website in any other language besides English and it might be useful for the future.
As if by magic Ire Aderinokun published this piece on Localisation and Translation on the Web just a couple of days later and thankfully it answers all those questions I had:
Coming from the English-speaking world, it can be easy to maintain the bubble that is the English-speaking World Wide Web. But in fact, more than half of web pages are written in languages other than English.
Since starting work at eyeo, I’ve had to think a lot more about localisation and translations because most of our websites are translated into several languages, something I previously didn’t have to really consider before. Once you decide to translate a web page, there are many things to take into account, and a lot of them I’ve found are useful even if your website is written in only one language.
I had no idea about the experimental, and currently unsupported,
translate attribute or the mysterious
margin-inline-start CSS property. Handy stuff!