So, I have translated page templates to various languages so it's easier for users to pick their language for easier navigating and understanding the site.

The pages have similar markup to this simplified excerpt:

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
<meta charset="utf-8">
<title>page title</title>
<meta name="description" content="meta description">
<link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/page.html" hreflang="en">
<link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/es/page.html" hreflang="es">
<link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/de/page.html" hreflang="de">
<link rel="canonical" href="http://example.com/page.html">
<body >

The thing is that on international pages (the ones listed in hreflang markup), the blog post is not translated, it is in English...

As you see in my sample code, there is a specified language for the page <html lang="en"> and it is different for other languages.

Question: do I set <article lang="en"> for international language pages so the bots would understand that templates are translated into other languages, but content is yet in English?

  • So there is mixed language on the page? Does your template contain display text in a foreign language and then the content is in English? Or what do you mean by, "templates are translated into other languages"?
    – Octopus
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 2:56
  • @Octopus All site navigation, sidebars, footers and such - page templates as I said are translated into various languages, but the articles does not. Everything besides the blog post is let's say in Spanish/German/French, while blog post is in English. Got it?
    – CamSpy
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 4:47
  • @closetnoc i'd like to hear your opinion, if possible. Thanks in advance.
    – CamSpy
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 12:03

1 Answer 1


Setting <article lang="en"> will not hurt but is not required. Even if the only thing you have translated is the site navigation, it is OK to use hreflang tags the way you are using them now.

<html lang=en> will be a problem, though. You don't want to confuse bots by using that on a page that declares it's in Spanish, for example.

  • thanks for your answer. However, my intention was to set <html lang="es"> for a Spanish page (where template is translated), but on that page, to set <article lang="en"> as the article will be in English. What pros and cons will I have with this kind of setup?
    – CamSpy
    Commented Nov 2, 2015 at 10:21
  • could you answer to my comment?
    – CamSpy
    Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 10:03
  • I understood your intention. Pros: you are more specific about the metadata on your page. Cons: Bots may get confused to find different langs for html and article. I haven't come across any articles where Google says they honor/understand lang attributes on <article> or any element tags.
    – tinkerr
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 15:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.