ICANN approves the use of non-Latin domain names

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (or ICANN for short) has approved the ability to create domain names containing non-Latin characters, according to a report from Yahoo! News.

As Neowin reported in October, ICANN announced that the organization had approved a multilingual address system which would make the Internet more accessible for those whose native language isn’t English. 

This means that web site owners in Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates can now create domain names using their native languages instead of being limited to traditional Latin ASCII characters, and may begin requesting domain names by the middle of 2010. In the future, it will be possible to write domain name addresses in all of the world’s languages.

"This marks a pivotal moment in the history of Internet domain names," said Rod Beckstrom, ICANN’s chief executive and president, "these international names will now allow people to type entire domain names in their own language."

As of Thursday, ICANN had received sixteen applications in eight different languages; with over half of the world’s 1.6 billion Internet viewers using non-Latin languages. This is certainly a step in the right direction for moving the Internet forward.

A domain name is used in conjunction with one of the many name servers (also known as DNS servers) across the Internet to translate a common and often memorable text address into a numerical IP (Internet Protocol) address, which in turn allows a browser to request files, such as HTML pages, from web servers without the need to remember a specific IP address.


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