A language tag is a tool authors can use to specify the language in which content is presented in an element or in an HTML document. For this purpose, HTML provides a series of language attributes like, for example,
Language tags can be composed by many types of subtags separated from each other by hypens ("-"). These subtags make a language more specific by declaring, for example, an extension, a region where it's used or a script. A language tag must conform with the following structure, where some of the subtags may be ommited.
The following list describes briefly the purpose of each language subtag.
- Primary language subtag
- Defines the primary language used. It's required, unless an extended language is declared. Some examples could be english ("en"), spanish ("es"), french ("fr"), etc.
- Extended language subtag
- Specifies a dialect, variety, specificity or extension of the primary language. When present, the primary language subtag can be ommited. Some examples are cantonese chinese ("zh-yue" or "yue"), Gulf Arabic ("ar-afb" or "afb"), greek sign language ("sgn-gss" or "gss"), etc.
- Script subtag
- Indicates the script used to write the text this language tag is affecting. It's rarely meeded as most languages have a default script associated to them (like latin script for spanish). Some examples are simplified chinese ("zh-Hans"), traditional chinese ("zh-Hant"), azerbaijani written in Latin script ("az-Latn"), etc.
- Region subtag
- Provides a region where the language is used. Some examples are latin-american spanish ("es-419"), spanish spoken in Spain ("es-ES"), english used in the United Kingdoms ("en-UK"), etc.
- Variant subtag
- Indicates dialect or script variations not already covered by combinations of the previous subtags. Some examples are the Nadiza dialect of Slovenian ("sl-nedis"), the Rezijan dialect of Slovenian ("sl-rozaj"), the variant of German orthography dating from the 1901 reforms as seen in Switzerland ("de-CH-1901"), etc.
Language tag generator
Choosing the appropriate language tag for your content may be a simple or complicated process, depending on the specificity of the language used. With the following form you can compose a language tag by searching and choosing each subtags in a user-friendly way.
Second additional variant: