Internationalized domain names (IDNs)

Internationalized domain names are domains that support one or more non-ASCII characters, such as www.øl.com and 스타벅스코리아.com.

Although IDNs have been around for many years, top-level IDNs (such as .jp, .com, etc.) have proven elusive.

Until recently.

Below is a running list of all top-level internationalized domain names (IDNs) that have passed the ICANN string evaluation stage as of November 25th, 2012:

  1. Algeria (dz): الجزائر
  2. Bangladesh (bg): বাংলা
  3. China (cn): 中國 (traditional); 中国 (simplified)
  4. Egypt (eg): مصر
  5. Georgia (ge): გე
  6. Hong Kong (hk): 香港
  7. India (in): See chart below.
  8. Iran (ir): ایران
  9. Jordan (jo): الاردن
  10. Kazakhstan (kz): қаз
  11. Korea, Republic of (kr): 한국
  12. Malaysia (my): مليسيا
  13. Mongolia (mn): мон
  14. Morocco (ma): المغرب
  15. Oman (om): عمان
  16. Pakistan (pk): ‎‎پاکستان
  17. Palestinian Territory (ps): فلسطين
  18. Qatar (qa): قطر
  19. Russian Federation (ru): рф
  20. Saudi Arabia (sa): السعودية
  21. Serbia (rs): срб
  22. Singapore (sg) 新加坡 (traditional Chinese); சிங்கப்பூர் (Tamil)
  23. Suden (sd): سودان
  24. Sri Lanka (lk): ලංකා (Sinhalese); இலங்கை (Tamil)
  25. Syria (sy): سورية
  26. Taiwan (tw):  台湾 (simplified); 台灣 (traditional); 臺灣 (variant string)
  27. Thailand (th): ไทย
  28. Tunisia (tn): تونس
  29. Ukraine (ua): укр
  30. United Arab Emirates (ae): امارات
  31. Yemen (ye): اليمن

You can purchase a large poster of these IDNs here (it is printed on demand so it remains current on all IDNs).

India (in) is a uniquely challenging domain because the country is home to more than 20 official languages across multiple scripts. Here are the strings that have passed string evaluation:

ccTLD
Reference
Country/
Territory
IDN String String in English Language Script
IN India भारत
بھ
ارتభా
రత్
ભાર
તਭਾਰਤ
இந்தியா
ভারত
Bharat Hindi
Urdu
Telugu
Gujarati
Punjabi
Tamil
Bengali
Devanagari
Arabic
Telugu
Gujarati
Gurmukhi
Tamil
Bengali

The following visual positions half of these domains over their respective regions:

Oh, and not every country that applies for an IDN gets approved. So far, Greece and Bulgaria have been rejected, as follows:

  • ελ,  looked too much like .EA
  • бг looked too much lik .br

Doesn’t make much sense to me, but that’s another story.

PS: If you’re seeing empty boxes instead of Sinhalese or Bangla characters, you don’t have the necessary font installed. This is one of the glaring differences between Windows and Mac. Below is a screen grab that shows Firefox on Mac OSX on the left and IE8 on Windows 7 on the right.

For more information: ICANN

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21 thoughts on “Internationalized domain names (IDNs)”

  1. Terrific! Thanks! For a .bd by the way, it is even difficult to fax Bangla, due to very weak backbone. But I’ll try

    Philippe Blankert – jpblankert at zonnet dot nl
    Internationalised Domain Names B.V.

  2. Hi John

    Sorry to nitpick, but you’ve listed the wrong version of the Traditional Taiwanese string.

    They applied for two versions, with the one you’ve listed as a ‘desired variant’ of the Traditional script. This variant was not approved by ICANN last week. The correct Traditional script version is: .台灣

    cheers
    jon

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