The :lang() CSS pseudo-class matches elements based on the language they are determined to be in.

/* Selects any <p> in English (en) */
p:lang(en) {
  quotes: '\201C' '\201D' '\2018' '\2019';
}

Note: In HTML, the language is determined by a combination of the lang attribute, the <meta> element, and possibly by information from the protocol (such as HTTP headers). For other document types there may be other document methods for determining the language.

Syntax

Formal syntax

:lang( <language-code> )

Parameter

<language-code>
A <string> representing the language you want to target. Acceptable values are specified in the HTML spec.

Example

In this example, the :lang() pseudo-class is used to match the parents of quote elements (<q>) using child combinators. Note that this doesn't illustrate the only way to do this, and that the best method to use depends on the type of document. Also note that Unicode values are used to specify some of the special quote characters.

HTML

<div lang="en"><q>This English quote has a <q>nested</q> quote inside.</q></div>
<div lang="fr"><q>This French quote has a <q>nested</q> quote inside.</q></div>
<div lang="de"><q>This German quote has a <q>nested</q> quote inside.</q></div>

CSS

:lang(en) > q { quotes: '\201C' '\201D' '\2018' '\2019'; }
:lang(fr) > q { quotes: '« ' ' »'; }
:lang(de) > q { quotes: '»' '«' '\2039' '\203A'; }

Result

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
Selectors Level 4
The definition of ':lang()' in that specification.
Working Draft No change.
Selectors Level 3
The definition of ':lang()' in that specification.
Recommendation No significant change.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of ':lang()' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 1.0 (Yes) 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) 8.0 8.0 3.1
Feature Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support 1.0 (Yes) 1.0 (1) 8.0 8.0 3.1

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: alphakevin,