i18n, L10n, and me


What do مصر, . السعودية, امارات have in common ?As of last week, those are the first three IDN (Internationalized Domain Name) country-code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD) from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). For the first time in the history of the Internet, non-Latin characters are being used for top-level domains. ICANN approved three Arabic country codes for url use:Egypt: مصر (Egypt)Saudi Arabia: السعودية (AlSaudiah)United Arab Emirates: امارات (Emarat)This means that you will soon being seeing domain names ending in مصر, . السعودية, امارات. and full web addresses that contain no Latin characters. This is a first step in allowing full urls in other languages, such as Chinese, Thai, and Tamil. More than 20 countries have requested approval for international domains in their native script from ICANN.Previously, web addresses could use some non-Latin letters in the address, but the country code, such as .eg for Egypt, had to be written in Latin script. The three new suffixes will allow web addresses to be completely written in native characters. “All three are Arabic script domains, and will enable domain names written fully right-to-left,” said Kim Davies of ICANN in a blog post. Mr. Davies warned that the IDNs may not work on all PCs immediately. “You may see a mangled string of letters and numbers, and perhaps some percent signs or a couple of “xn--“s mixed into the address bar,” said Mr Davies. “Or it may not work at all.”

i18n, L10n, and me

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