First Non-Latin Web Address Up

Posted: May 6 2010, 1:08pm CDT | by , Updated: Aug 11 2010, 8:58pm CDT, in Technology News


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Today is a historic day, and I say that with no hyperbole whatsoever. The first non-Latinate web addresses launched today, ringing in a new era for the Internet. Now the world-wide-web truly lives up to its name. Until today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) had required Latin characters for the country-code (.co, .us, .uk).

Now Arab nations can read web addresses in their native language, written from right to left. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the first nations to benefit from the change. More than twenty other countries have applied for their own native language domains. China, not surprisingly, tops the list.

This is important for both practical, and symbolic reasons. It will make Internet use somewhat more convenient and intuitive for people who were not raised with a Latinate tongue. More importantly, it recognizes the Internet as a truly global resource. No nation, language, or ideology should hold more claim to the Internet than any other.

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