Languages of RSS - The RSS Blog
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Wed, 06 Jun 2007 04:02:00 GMT
Languages of RSS

Today, the topic of language surfaced on the rss-public mailing list. Rogers noted that the <language> element was used in 51% of the feeds he checked. Nothing interesting there. He also noted the <dc:language> element was used in 36% of the feeds. That was really weird. Rogers wondered if it was worth covering <dc:language> in the RSS profile. With so many people using <dc:language>, it surely does belong in the RSS profile, but I would be inclined to advise publishers that the element is redundant and should be avoided where <language> is sufficient. Ralph Giles added that <dc:language> can appear as a child of both the <item> and <channel> elements, whereas <language> can only appears as a child of <channel>. That's a great use case of <dc:language>.  There's also a third perfectly valid and rarely implemented way of denoting language in RSS; the xml:lang attribute.

Language Codes

There's some confusion as to what are the acceptable values of <language>. The primary source is the list of language codes in the spec's appendix. But any language code that can appear in HTML, can also appear in RSS. This includes both ISO639 language codes and ISO3166 language codes.

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