Internationalized Domain Names Go Live on the Internet

June 16, 2010

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Keyboard with Arabic characters, photo by vj um amel on flickr
Last month, Arabic and Russian speakers were able to type in web addresses entirely by using their own alphabet. In the past, domain names could only be written in Latin letters.

The new internationalized domain names might not seem to be a big deal if you speak English. But according to Maria Farrell, it's a huge victory for people who don't write in Latin scripts. As a senior staffer for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), Maria witnessed the long battle people fought to get their languages represented online.

When the new URLs went live, she wrote a blog post called, “The Internet has changed forever, and no one seems to have noticed.”