* - Lang - Absence of Language Annotation for Phonetic or Pronunciation Guidance

What the issue is

Content that includes words or phrases that require specific phonetic pronunciation or pronunciation guidance without proper annotation can create barriers for users, including those using text-to-speech (TTS) technologies. This may include scientific terms, foreign language words, names, or any content where the pronunciation is not clear from the spelling.

Why this is important

Providing phonetic pronunciation or pronunciation guidance helps all users, but especially benefits users with disabilities including vision impairments, cognitive disabilities, and non-native speakers. It assists in the correct interpretation of the content, ensures proper pronunciation by assistive technologies, and enhances the overall comprehension of the text.

Who it affects

This issue affects:

  1. Users of Text-to-Speech (TTS) technologies who rely on accurate pronunciation.
  2. Non-native speakers and users with limited proficiency in the content's language.
  3. Individuals with cognitive disabilities or learning difficulties who benefit from additional cues to aid in comprehension.

How to remediate the issue

  1. Utilize HTML markup such as the <ruby> element to provide pronunciation guides for words or phrases that require it. The <ruby> element can encompass both the word or phrase and its phonetic spelling or annotation within <rt> tags.
  2. Consider providing a glossary or explanatory section where complex terms or foreign language words are annotated with their pronunciation.
  3. For content management systems (CMS) or platforms that do not support direct HTML editing, explore plugins or extensions that allow for the inclusion of phonetic or pronunciation annotations.

Additional guidance on providing pronunciation guidance can be found at W3C Pronunciation Gap Analysis.