Home ICANN Frees Country Codes from Latin Letters

ICANN Frees Country Codes from Latin Letters

Starting today, countries can use Internet country code top-level domains that are independent of the Latin alphabet, according to Internet regulating body ICANN.

As it currently stands, a site in Saudi Arabia must use “.sa” as its root. Now it can use the Arabic equivalent and leave off translating. Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are the first to take advantage of this.

The first site to use a completely non-Latin URL is Egypt’s Ministry of Communication.

Now, however, 21 countries have made the request that the Internet recognize their names in 11 different languages, according to an ICANN announcement.

The process to get native-language functionality, called “Fast Track” has three steps.

1. Preparation (by the requester in the country / territory). Community consensus is built for which IDN ccTLD to apply for, how it is run, and which organization will be running it, along with preparing and gathering all the required supporting documentation.

2. String Evaluation: incoming requests to ICANN in accordance with the criteria described above: the technical and linguistic requirements for the IDN ccTLD string(s). Applications are received through an online system available together with additional material supporting the process at: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/

3. String Delegation: requests successfully meeting string evaluation criteria are eligible to apply for delegation following the same ICANN IANA process as is used for ASCII based ccTLDs. String delegation requests are submitted to IANA root zone management.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.