Sunday, October 07, 2007

Internet Domain names in Hanguel and Kana

News in today's Japan Times that next week ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, will begin the long awaited start of Internationalised Domain Names (IDN). The AP news story is available here.

The plans are still under review, but once they are approved 11 new domains will be created that read example.test in Arabic, Persian, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Russian, Hindi, Greek, Korean, Yiddish, Japanese and Tamil.

Discussion on using non latin alphabets for internet domain names started in 1996. The Japan times discusses the topic in 2001. In 2003 registration began for partially Japanese domain names in the .jp namespace. Request For Comment 3743 was created in 2004 and work has progressed since then.
The Korean IDN 휴대폰.com which translates as was sold for $36,194 in May 2007.

The technology used in the 13 key domain name directories will not change, instead the IETF have developed PunyCode to convert the new domain names into standard ASCII characters.

The testing document from the ICANN website suggests that the first totally Korean and Japanese IDNs will be :


in Hangul and


which is a combination of Kanji Hirigana, and Katakana.

The whole world will be able to test with these new domains, but just in case they cause any problems to the rest of the internet a 24hr hotline will established to suspend the test if required.

I forsee this development will require new versions of almost all software that validates website and email addresses, which is good news for us software engineers and the rest of the IT industry!

No comments: