Tag non-English language content

Last updated on January 9, 2024

For accessibility reasons, all non-English text must be tagged in CMS Lite.

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Importance of language tagging for screen readers

Tagging text with the language it is written in signals screen reader software (used by people with visual impairment) to switch to the appropriate language. The software will use the right pronunciation rules for that specific language.

When to use language tags

The language attribute can be applied to:

  • The entire text on a page
  • A specific portion of the text

For example, Cette phrase est en français (This sentence is in French).

If a phrase is wrongly pronounced within a screen reader, it may make the content impossible to understand.

Handling entirely non-English pages

If the entire page is in another language, use the Page language field on the Settings tab.

When not to tag language

You don’t need to tag language when:

Words or phrases have become a common part of the English language.

The words are a proper name

Using technical terms that are common in certain profession

For example, the following words are of French origin: rendezvous, chauffeur, and café.

For example, la Croix Rouge (The Red Cross).

For example, habeas corpus (legal), magna cum laude (academic), hematology or haematology (medicine).

Avoid overuse of technical terms. BC government pages must be written using plain language.

Steps to tag text in a specific language

To tag content as a specific language:

  1. Highlight the applicable text
  2. Select the Set Language icon foreign language icon from the toolbar
  3. Choose an alternate language from the drop-down menu

foreign language drop-down options

The selected text will be highlighted in blue in the editor window:

sample of highlighted text tagged as foreign content