Monday, October 26, 2009

International Domain Names

Updated (30 October 2009): ICANN Approves International Web Addresses

ICANN Bringing the Languages of the World to the Global Internet

Hebrew, Hindi, other scripts get Web address nod


It's been talked about for years, but it looks like all the hurdles have been passed and we may see web addresses written in languages other than English as early as next year.

This is very interesting and really cool, although I wonder about the implications for translating existing domains and for the many people without language packs on their machines. Will all addresses have an English base, so you get the specific domain name based on your regional language settings? Will organizations start migrating away from some of the country-specific domains, like .jp and .cn? Time will tell.
One of the key issues to be taken up by ICANN's board at this week's gathering is whether to allow for the first time entire Internet addresses to be in scripts that are not based on Latin letters. That could potentially open up the Web to more people around the world as addresses could be in characters as diverse as Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Greek, Hindi and Cyrillic — in which Russian is written.
Internet set for change with non-English addresses (Yahoo! Tech)

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