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Non Latin Alphabet Set To Appear In Web Addresses

With an eye on internationalising the character of the web, the governing body for internet names ICANN, has approved the use of non Latin scripts in domain names.

In a decision which was unanimously approved by ICANN’s 15 member board, it was decided that non Latin scripts need to be permitted owing to the sheer volume of people online who are known to use languages based on non Latin scripts.

The move from ICANN will pave the way for countries to display web addresses in their native languages and will also allow governments in many countries to make the web more accessible to people who are less educated.

However the new names do have some restrictions as they will be only available on country code domains such as .kr or .in. while non Latin versions of top level domain names like .com, org or.net are unlikely to be available for several years.

Explaining the significance of the move, chief exec of ICANN Rod Beckstrom mentioned "This represents one small step for ICANN, but one big step for half of mankind who use non-Latin scripts, such as those in Korea, China and the Arabic-speaking world, as well as across Asia, Africa and the rest of the world."

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.