The Net Widens: Non-Latin Domain Names Introduced
Egypt first to request web address in Arabic script.
Information Technology Minister Tarek Kamel said the country had filed an application to use the domain, ".masr" written entirely in Arabic. The word translates as ".egypt".
Today was the first day the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an Internet oversight agency, opened its doors to applications for domains written in non-Latin languages. According to ICANN Chief Executive Rod Beckstrom, six countries have so far lined up for domains using three scripts.
The shift to allow native language domain names has been heralded as the most significant change to the Internet in its 40-year history. Of the 1.6 billion people who use the Internet, more than half speak a language that doesn't use Latin characters.
Some countries, including China, have already introduced software workarounds that allow local computers to recognize web addresses written in non-Latin script. Since these fixes weren't internationally approved, however, they don't always work on all computers.
Major websites and international Web-based retailers also already offer native language services, of course. Google (GOOG) runs its search engine in myriad scripts, including Arabic, but uses domain names created with the Latin alphabet. (For example, Google.ae is the domain name for Google's United Arab Emirates site.) In September, Google launched a "Google News" page fluent in Arabic, reaching 40 million Arabic-speaking Internet users. Amazon (AMZN) runs large subsidiaries in China and Japan.
Copyright 2009 Minyanville. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.
Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Daily Recap Newsletter