ICANN Approves First Four Internationalized Country Domains2010.04.28 13:08 by Daniela
Keywords: ICANN, Internet
ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, has approved the first four country-code domain names written in non-Latin script, it announced Tuesday.
All existing top-level domain names are written using the "Latin" alphabet, the 26 letters from A to Z. That system is just fine for Internet users in English-speaking countries, but not for those countries for which the official language is written using other scripts, such as the Russian Cyrillic characters, Arabic script or Chinese pictograms. European countries such as Österreich (Austria) or Espaņa (Spain) also have problems with the Latin alphabet, as they use accented characters to spell their official name in their own language.
There are several kinds of top-level domains (TLDs): generic ones (gTLDs) such as .com, .net or .org, special-purpose ones such as .aero or .museum, and the two-letter country code domains (ccTLDs) such as .fr (France) or .uk (United Kingdom).
The first four countries to be allowed to write their country-code top-level domain names in their own script are Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. They will retain their existing Latin-alphabet ccTLDs such as .ru (Russia).
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