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ICANN to Allow Non-Latin Characters in Domains

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.

  • Honis
    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!
    Reply
  • Jerky_san
    This will kinda crazy cause now you will have to know how to type the language to search for something in another country..
    Reply
  • wildwell
    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.
    Reply
  • The internet will get slower and use more bandwidth.
    ASCII (1 byte) vs UNICODE (2 bytes)

    DNS FAIL 2010!
    Reply
  • MamiyaOtaru
    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.
    Reply
  • acecombat
    Ok so soon we will be browsing to www.(teepee symbol)(Hash)(Symbol that looks like a flower).cn
    Reply
  • werfu
    Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Hindi, Cyrillic or Greek

    No European characters? If UTF8 is used than every character of the table should be used.
    Reply
  • ptroen
    The rush to grab all none english character names begins!
    Reply
  • Time to purchase the Chinese equivalent to sex.com ( 性.cn )?
    Reply
  • ssalim
    This is going to get ugly...
    Reply