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Internationalisation, multilingual blog and accessibility in WordPress

By Matthieu Faure, 27 November 2013

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(This post is the first one in english and is used to verify internationalisation.)

I want to write content both in english en french. So I’m haversting all WordPress documention to understand what is good, and what not so good. And off course, I will be very careful with accessibility, as Tanaguru aims at testing it.

Which plugin for internationalisation in WordPress

Short answer: Polylang.

Amongst the various plugins, I found Polylang to be the canonical one to use for i18n. You could also give a try to qTranslate, Xili-language or WPML (which is not FLOSS), the Multilingual WordPress page on Codex describe them quite well.

Improvement to report to Polylang

When inserting the language switcher to a menu, on the homepage the current language is indicated only visually (with CSS style: italic and color). This is not accessible as users that don’t see those styles (e.g. blind user with a screen reader or braille terminal) miss the information.

A good way to implement it would be to add some HTML markup, such as an em or a strong arround the current language.

Here are the normative references:

  • WCAG Success criteria 1.4.1 Use of Color: Color is not used as the only visual means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element.
  • (French) AccessiWeb Critère 3.1: Dans chaque page Web, l’information ne doit pas être donnée uniquement par la couleur. Cette règle est-elle respectée ?
  • (French) RGAA Test 2.1: Présence d’un autre moyen que la couleur pour identifier un contenu auquel il est fait référence textuellement

Update 30 novembre 2013: accessibility issue for Polylang reported in the forum (and anwser brought by plugin author).

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