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The lang global attribute participates in defining the language of the element, the language that is non-editable elements are written in or the language that the editable elements should be written in. The tag contains one single entry value in the format defined in the Tags for Identifying Languages (BCP47) IETF document. If the tag content is the empty string the language is set to unknown; if the tag content is not valid, regarding BCP47, it is set to invalid.

Even if the lang attribute is set, it may not be taken into account, as the xml:lang attribute has priority.

For the CSS pseudo-class :lang, two invalid language names are different if their names are different.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
WHATWG HTML Living Standard
The definition of 'lang' in that specification.
Living Standard No change from latest snapshot, HTML5.1
HTML5.1
The definition of 'lang' in that specification.
Working Draft Snapshot of WHATWG HTML Living Standard, no change from HTML5
HTML5
The definition of 'lang' in that specification.
Recommendation Snapshot of WHATWG HTML Living Standard, behavior with xml:lang and language determination algorithm defined. It also is a true global attribute.
HTML 4.01 Specification
The definition of 'lang' in that specification.
Recommendation Supported on all elements but <applet>, <base>, <basefont>, <br>, <frame>, <frameset>, <iframe>, <param>, and <script>.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Chrome for Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: arsmrn, adrianheine, Sebastianz, rayhatfield, teoli
 Last updated by: arsmrn,