In some cases, a IIIF resource may have a title or description (
summary) in more than one language; or, the publisher of the content may want to provide descriptive
metadata field labels in multiple languages for different language audiences, for example supplying a
label for a creator field in both English and French (“Creator”, “Auteur”).
With IIIF Presentation API 3.0, language maps are mandatory for strings that are intended to be displayed to the user. Languages are specified using a JSON key/value pair where the specified language is the key following BCP 47 language codes and the value is an array, for example:
"en": ["Whistler's Mother"]. If the language is not known or the string does not have a language, then the key must be the string
A client will choose the appropriate value(s) by following the processing rules provided in the Language of Property Values section of the IIIF Presentation API 3.0 specification.
Language keys should be associated with the Manifest
summary properties, as well as the
value properties of the
requiredStatement descriptive properties.
Note that the implementation described here does not apply to embedded textual bodies in Annotations, which use the Web Annotation pattern of value and language as separate properties.
In this example, the content is an image of the painting commonly known as Whistler’s Mother by James Abbott McNeill Whistler. The Manifest
label property has both the English and French titles (lines 6-11).
requiredStatement properties, the
label strings for “Creator”, “Subject” and “Held by” fields (lines 16-21, 31-36, 58-63) are supplied in both English and French. The value for the “Subject” field (lines 39-44) is supplied in both English and French, while the values for the “Creator” and “Held by” fields (lines 24-26, 66-68) have no specified language, so use “none” for the language map.
summary property (lines 49-54) has values in both English and French.
To see the language choice in the linked viewers, open the settings menu (gear icon) and choose either English or French.
The image in this example was sourced via Wikimedia Commons and is public domain.