ICANN Gets Ready To Allow Non-English Characters In Web Addresses

ICANN-To-Approve-Non-Latin-Domain-Names Later this week, the internet is expected to undergo one of the biggest changes in its history. ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), a non-profit corporation which oversees multiple web related tasks, is holding its 36th International Public Meeting in Seoul. It is expected to approve a proposal known as Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), which will permit addresses with characters other than those based on the Latin alphabet.

IDNs will allow users around the world to surf the web by typing addresses in their own script. The new system is expected to help in popularizing the web among users speaking languages with non-Latin scripts like Arabic and Chinese. According to most estimates, more than half the internet users around the world (approximately 800 million) use non-Latin scripts. Internationalized Domain Names is the next step in the evolution of the internet and will help the it in becoming truly global in nature.

The final decision is expected on Friday. If approved, non-Latin addresses should start appearing by mid-2010.

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