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ICANN to Allow Non-Latin Characters in Domains

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 26 comments

ICANN is tomorrow expected to approve the availability of domain names in non-Latin alphabets.

Switched this week reports that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is set to allow Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Hindi, Cyrillic or Greek users create web addresses in their native character sets.

"This is the biggest change technically to the Internet since it was invented 40 years ago," Switched cites ICANN chairman Peter Dengate Thrush as saying at a press conference in Seoul, South Korea this week.

Approximately half of Internet users are native speakers of languages that do not use the Latin alphabet. If the motion is approved, we should see the first non-Roman domain names sometime in mid-2010.

Check out the full story here.

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    ptroen , October 29, 2009 7:47 PM
    The rush to grab all none english character names begins!
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , October 29, 2009 7:49 PM
    Time to purchase the Chinese equivalent to sex.com ( 性.cn )?
Other Comments
  • 7 Hide
    Honis , October 29, 2009 6:45 PM
    has this been planned for some time or is it part of the new international based control of ICANN?

    Can't wait to field questions about blank boxes in address bars!
  • Display all 26 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    Jerky_san , October 29, 2009 6:49 PM
    This will kinda crazy cause now you will have to know how to type the language to search for something in another country..
  • 5 Hide
    wildwell , October 29, 2009 6:56 PM
    Wow! How am I gonna point my browser to those sites!?

    I bet this will make it easier for China to censor the web for it's citizens. Now they can just block all URLs with western letters.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , October 29, 2009 7:13 PM
    The internet will get slower and use more bandwidth.
    ASCII (1 byte) vs UNICODE (2 bytes)

    DNS FAIL 2010!
  • -2 Hide
    MamiyaOtaru , October 29, 2009 7:24 PM
    Jerky_sanThis will kinda crazy cause now you will have to know how to type the language to search for something in another country..

    whaat

    Do you search by typing in the URL of random foreign sites and seeing if they talk about your subject or something? Or do you put a search term into google? This will change nothing. You'll google a term, and click on the link.

    Now I could it getting harder to go to a foreign language site you already know about (say, pillows.gr.jp) which I visit despite not being able to read it (babelfish yay). If they change that URL to use japanese character I won't be able to just type it in. But searching will be unchanged.
  • 7 Hide
    acecombat , October 29, 2009 7:30 PM
    Ok so soon we will be browsing to www.(teepee symbol)(Hash)(Symbol that looks like a flower).cn
  • 2 Hide
    werfu , October 29, 2009 7:32 PM
    Quote:
    Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Hindi, Cyrillic or Greek


    No European characters? If UTF8 is used than every character of the table should be used.
  • 14 Hide
    ptroen , October 29, 2009 7:47 PM
    The rush to grab all none english character names begins!
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , October 29, 2009 7:49 PM
    Time to purchase the Chinese equivalent to sex.com ( 性.cn )?
  • 7 Hide
    ssalim , October 29, 2009 8:03 PM
    This is going to get ugly...
  • 9 Hide
    SAL-e , October 29, 2009 8:25 PM
    This going to be fun. I can see it now. Phishing site like NR.com in Cyrillic will look exactly like HP.com The phishing attack becomes much more easy and effective now! :D  "I told you to take those Russian classes!" LOL
  • 4 Hide
    cookoy , October 29, 2009 10:26 PM
    Need to enroll also in those Russian classes, so i can browse websites of Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , October 29, 2009 10:42 PM
    Good idea! Again how does English people access their website?
  • -1 Hide
    Shadow703793 , October 30, 2009 12:57 AM
    Wow. Fail IDEA. Seriously. Some hackers are going to exploit this if it comes on-line....

    I wonder what Google results would look like....
  • 0 Hide
    Gin Fushicho , October 30, 2009 1:12 AM
    How am I supposed to Google for foreign porn now? D=
  • 1 Hide
    okibrian , October 30, 2009 1:32 AM
    Gin FushichoHow am I supposed to Google for foreign porn now? D=

    Just google for boobs, or whatever, you'll still get the hits on key words.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 30, 2009 2:00 AM
    We will need some kind of translation matrix... something that will be directly plugged in to everything and set the language according to what country you are in. From there your browser could change to another language if you have your computer set to use your particular language. This idea or something similar is the only way we can sustain the global connections to each other and perhaps enhance those connections. Just imagine your browser showing message board text in your language PROPERLY translated from anywhere in the world. No more weird words that don't make sense and no more yoda speak translations for japanese language lol. Kinda like a text only universal translator from star trek. This way, no matter what you type into your browser you will go to the right place but by default, based on your geographic location you will go to the right place depending on what you type in and your browser will handle anything else.
  • 0 Hide
    slapdashzero , October 30, 2009 12:34 PM
    So by doing this I see several problems that could immediately crop up: They will have effectively split the internet; "These sites for this country, those for that country." It will become -much- harder to directly type URLs. Will they allow the same words and domain names to double up in the different languages? Like SAL-e pointed out, many languages have letters that look the same as the current lettering system. Will people be able to have a web address that is tomshardware.com, except in Arabic, and it'd be a differnt site? Or are they going to try to have everything translate from one to another and point at the original site? If that's the case, then it's just a bunch of politically correct non-sense. [in my best whiny voice] "It's not fair to have to type the address in the way it was invented, I wanna type it in MY language!" I guess we'll see. I think with both this and the transition to IPv6, we will be seeing some major changes in the function of the internet in the next few years.
  • 0 Hide
    bounty , October 30, 2009 2:17 PM
    Doing things like adding foreign porn sites to our filters will become harder. Copy/Paste, hope you didn't miss something cuz it all looks the same or insn't displayed properly. That is even if our content filter can deal with Japanese characters. It will make the internet probably more accessable to other countries.... but damnit I'm selfish!
  • 0 Hide
    tektek , October 30, 2009 2:35 PM
    Now this is news worth knowing! This will actually cause an explosion of advancent in many countries would couldnt use the full potential of the net due to language restrictions.. big plus on ICANN's part!!
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