Accept-Language request HTTP header advertises which languages the client is able to understand, and which locale variant is preferred. (By languages, we mean natural languages, such as English, and not programming languages.) Using content negotiation, the server then selects one of the proposals, uses it and informs the client of its choice with the
Content-Language response header. Browsers set adequate values for this header according to their user interface language and even if a user can change it, this happens rarely (and is frowned upon as it leads to fingerprinting).
This header is a hint to be used when the server has no way of determining the language via another way, like a specific URL, that is controlled by an explicit user decision. It is recommended that the server never overrides an explicit decision. The content of the
Accept-Language is often out of the control of the user (like when traveling and using an Internet Cafe in a different country); the user may also want to visit a page in another language than the locale of their user interface.
If the server cannot serve any matching language, it can theoretically send back a
406 (Not Acceptable) error code. But, for a better user experience, this is rarely done and more common way is to ignore the
Accept-Language header in this case.
|Header type||Request header|
|Forbidden header name||no|
|CORS-safelisted request header||yes, with the additional restriction that values can only be
Accept-Language: <language> Accept-Language: * // Multiple types, weighted with the quality value syntax: Accept-Language: fr-CH, fr;q=0.9, en;q=0.8, de;q=0.7, *;q=0.5
A language tag (which is sometimes referred to as a "locale identifier"). This consists of a 2-3 letter base language tag representing the language, optionally followed by additional subtags separated by
'-'. The most common extra information is the country or region variant (like
'fr-CA') or the type of alphabet to use (like
'sr-Latn'). Other variants like the type of orthography (
'de-DE-1996') are usually not used in the context of this header.
- Any language;
'*'is used as a wildcard.
- Any value placed in an order of preference expressed using a relative quality value called weight.
Accept-Language: de Accept-Language: de-CH Accept-Language: en-US,en;q=0.5
|RFC 7231, section 5.3.5: Accept-Language||Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Semantics and Context|
|BCP 47||Tags for the Identification of Language|
|Chrome Full support Yes||Edge Full support 12||Firefox Full support Yes||IE Full support Yes||Opera Full support Yes||Safari Full support Yes||WebView Android Full support Yes||Chrome Android Full support Yes||Firefox Android Full support Yes||Opera Android Full support Yes||Safari iOS Full support Yes||Samsung Internet Android Full support Yes|
- Full support
- Full support