The :lang() CSS pseudo-class matches elements based on the language they are determined to be in.

/* Selects any <p> in English (en) */
p:lang(en) {
  quotes: '\201C' '\201D' '\2018' '\2019';

Note: In HTML, the language is determined by a combination of the lang attribute, the <meta> element, and possibly by information from the protocol (such as HTTP headers). For other document types there may be other document methods for determining the language.


Formal syntax

:lang( <language-code> )


A <string> representing the language you want to target. Acceptable values are specified in the HTML spec.


In this example, the :lang() pseudo-class is used to match the parents of quote elements (<q>) using child combinators. Note that this doesn't illustrate the only way to do this, and that the best method to use depends on the type of document. Also note that Unicode values are used to specify some of the special quote characters.


<div lang="en"><q>This English quote has a <q>nested</q> quote inside.</q></div>
<div lang="fr"><q>This French quote has a <q>nested</q> quote inside.</q></div>
<div lang="de"><q>This German quote has a <q>nested</q> quote inside.</q></div>


:lang(en) > q { quotes: '\201C' '\201D' '\2018' '\2019'; }
:lang(fr) > q { quotes: '« ' ' »'; }
:lang(de) > q { quotes: '»' '«' '\2039' '\203A'; }



Specification Status Comment
Selectors Level 4
The definition of ':lang()' in that specification.
Working Draft Adds wildcard language matching and comma-separated list of languages.
Selectors Level 3
The definition of ':lang()' in that specification.
Recommendation No significant change.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of ':lang()' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibilityUpdate compatibility data on GitHub

Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari
:lang() 1 12 1 8 8 3.1
Android webview Chrome for Android Firefox for Android Opera for Android Safari on iOS Samsung Internet
:lang() 1 18 4 10.1 3.1 1.0

See also

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