First IDN ccTLDs now available

by Kim Davies on May 5, 2010

Today the first three production non-Latin top-level domains were placed in the DNS root zone. This means they are live! Here is one newly enabled domain with a functional website that works right now: وزارة-الأتصالات.مصر

What you should be seeing is something like the following:

Example of an IDN ccTLD in a web browser

It even works on a mobile phone:

Example of an IDN ccTLD on an iPhone

The three new top-level domains are السعودية. (“Al-Saudiah”), امارات. ( “Emarat”) and مصر. (“Misr”). All three are Arabic script domains, and will enable domain names written fully right-to-left. Expect more as we continue to process other applications using the “fast track” methodology.

ICANN staff are still finishing the processing of these domain’s delegations, but now that they are visible in the root zone it is fair to say these are mostly formalities. The remaining tasks include final technical verifications, updating the IANA WHOIS database and publishing the delegation reports.

Now the hard work happens in the countries which have their new IDN ccTLDs. They will now commence their own processes to launch the domains in a way that gives their communities access to put them to day-to-day use.

{ 24 comments }

Kieren McCarthy 05.05.10 at 10:20 am

Absolutely fantastic. The Internet’s infrastructure finally grows beyond English (okay, yes, ASCII).

Bravo to you Kim, and Tina, and the dozens of people who worked for years to get to this point.

Kieren

Phio 05.05.10 at 12:10 pm

Congrats to all who have worked to make IDN cctlds a reality. Tina, Kim and staff, the next round is on me at your favorite spot in MDR.
This is the news that peoples all over the world have been waiting for. Again Congratulations for seeing this through!

Bret Fausett 05.05.10 at 2:32 pm

Congratulations to everyone who made this possible. I know how hard you all worked to get to this point. It was worth it. Thank you.

Tony Kirsch 05.05.10 at 6:03 pm

This is one of our industry’s greatest achievements and the hard work and dedication to make this occur should be acknowledged worldwide.

Having enjoyed professional and personal relationships with some of these newly successful applicants, I can only say to those who may not have the benefit of such insight, how much effort is required to create such an important change to the future of their country’s Internet.

My sincere congratulations to ICANN (Tina and Kim in particular) and all others involved.

Tina Dam 05.05.10 at 8:12 pm

Hi All, thanks for the nice comments and the re-tweets etc. today. But please let’s not forget that the congratulations foremost goes to all of those in the communty that have worked on this for years. That is, those on the ground at the various registries and governments that have worked actively locally; the IDNA protocol authors; the policy makers; application developers (IDNs is functioning in all new versions of the main browsers as an example) – and so forth.

The results and milestones reached today are huge, outstanding, and so very well deserved. This is the step we have all been waiting for, for so long, to make sure all users are provided equal access to the Internet.

Congratulations especially to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates! I hope you have had a great day and will be celebrating this :)

From the ICANN staff we are much looking forward to seeing how these IDN ccTLDs will be received and used in your communities.

Tina

PS. Kim, thanks for getting this information published early today.

Fahd A. B. 05.05.10 at 9:45 pm

Congratulations to the folks from KSA, UAE, and Egypt on this achievement, and thank you to the Internet community that thrived and excelled to get the Internet domain space to speak diverse non-ASCII languages

Simon 05.06.10 at 1:16 am

Congratulations – we are now a step closer towards a truely global Internet.

Mark ( ISP Review UK ) 05.06.10 at 4:43 am

Excellent work, though it’s a pain for English/Latin users to put links like this into printed (paper) public media when referencing an overseas website.

http://xn--4gbrim.xn—-rmckbbajlc6dj7bxne2c.xn--wgbh1c/ar/default.aspx

Those tiny URL services should see a nice uptick hehe.

Tina Dam 05.06.10 at 6:29 am

@Mark, I would hope that those web-sitesthat address the non-Arabic speaking market would also have addresses in the their respective local script – that is, Chinese characters if the content is for Chinese readers; Latin characters if the content is for Swedish, German, or English readers, and so forth.

That should make it easier to put the links into the printed media because it would now match the script used to write such media :)

Tina

Alessandro Perucchi 05.06.10 at 7:15 am

I agree that this is a very good and a long awaited improvement.
And at the same time, I feel that people around the world won’t be able to reach any web site anymore.
Before with any keyboard I could type the URL to any website.
Now, if I don’t have a website which links it to a local script written URL, then I won’t be unable to reproduce with a simple keyboard the URL.
If an Arabian/Chinese/Japanese/… friend has his website in his visit card, and it is not written in ASCII, and there are no alias to an ASCII domain name… how am I supposed to even see this webpage? How can I search it?
What about e-mail? I need to wait that someone write me an e-mail to even be able to answer back?

So I am maybe pessimistic, but even if I find the news great, I am really bothered with these communication problems. And at the light of that, I am skeptical.

But maybe this is a wrong problem, and I’m imagining all that, and the reality will be better. So please tell me I’m wrong!

shah 05.06.10 at 8:33 am

How do i buy some of these domai names.

can somone plz tell me how i can register these?

JOhn W 05.06.10 at 8:47 am

While its great accomplishment to embrace the many languages of the world, will the web become a tower of Babel? Now we’ll have a mad dash for all the dialect specific accent and umlauts etc. Call me a pessimist, but am hoping the end result isnt a separation of data pools. Who needs encryption now!

ben 05.06.10 at 8:48 am

this is the worst idea ever.

Swartz 05.06.10 at 9:01 am

Congrats!

You’ve just made life great for the phishing industry…

/sarcasm

Stormwatch 05.06.10 at 9:21 am

Nice job breaking it, hero. Phishing is enough of a problem in just one alphabet, now you can bet it’s going to get worse!

Tran 05.06.10 at 9:23 am

Wow I can’t wait for the phishers to registers domains like

http://www.℮bay.com

Where the “e” is the Unicode “estimated symbol” and not a Latin e character.

Or maybe moc.yabe.www which is rendered right-left…

Pete 05.06.10 at 10:09 am

These are three new ‘top level’ domains (e.g. “.com”, “.org”, “.edu” etc.) Except right to left. They aren’t enabling all ascii domain names (e.g. “Googl℮.com” with the false E)

Chris 05.06.10 at 10:17 am

Many many congratulations – at last the non-latin world can finally join the web on their own terms.

Alexandre 05.06.10 at 11:17 am

Already well supported by Opera, also in the address with and right-to-left.

Felix H. Cat 05.06.10 at 12:23 pm

Interesting for sure, I’m surprised the firsts ccTLDs are (Arabic?) and not Japanese/Chinese characters.

I can’t help imagining that these domains will make it difficult for anyone in any language to navigate to international domains…

We’ll see how they’re adopted and used, I suppose any website that has int’l relevance will use a standard latin domain, or have a latin parked “mirror” domain…

Thomas H. 05.06.10 at 1:32 pm

While it is only fair to let people write in their native scripts, I do agree that this can also be considered a backwards step. Latin is easily the most well known script in the world, and it isn’t that complex in ASCII form.

This localisation of TLDs will surely spill into whole addresses, and I don’t know how many, if any, will be interested in providing a Latin address for people who aren’t familiar with the local script (and might be using a machine translator, for example).

I think this is somewhat antithetical to the internationalisation spirit of the Internet and WWW, erecting a new language barrier for the sake of taking down a supposed one for people who ‘don’t use’ Latin script.

hasan jaffal 05.07.10 at 1:08 am

gr8, congrats,
how can we register such domain names ?

thank you

Anonymous 05.07.10 at 7:03 am

This is one of the most stupid ideas I’ve ever heard, you’re trying to remove the international part of the internet and break millions of lines of code in one step, well done. I won’t bother to list the problems with this here since I assume you don’t allow posts over 100000 characters.

PePa 05.07.10 at 7:06 am

You should try going to: http://www.xn--wgbh1c.com
That is quite interesting..!

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