Recently ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) approved the introduction of the complete Internet domain names in non-latin specific languages (Non-latin characters in domain names)
Extract from one of the Press release:
“Up to now, domain names had to use the 26 Latin letters in the English alphabet as well as 10 numerals and the hyphen.Technical efforts have enabled display of parts of Internet addresses in other scripts, but the two-letter suffixes had to be made up of those 37 characters.The approval for non-Latin characters applies for now only to domain names connected with the two-letter country codes, like .ru for Russia and .cn for China.Languages that could become available in 2010 for Internet-site names include Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Hindi and Korean.he so-called generic top-level-domain suffixes, like .com, .net and .gov, will remain Latin-characters-only for now.”
Tha above announcement could bring in number of changes in current industry. Here are few of them:
- Web Content Managment: With new non-latin domains getting registered everyday, WCM demand will increase than ever before with the focus on multilingual support. In my experience with WCM, I have not come across many implementations that support multilingual. So, its going to be a challenge for both the product vedors as well as System Integrators. It is important to test the current implementations for non-latin languages and becoming a Must Have feature for any implementations going forward. The same will hold good for e-commerce .
- Translators: The market for translators will increase and will become more prominent. The content will start becoming more localized to regions and translators will come to rescue to retrieve any such localized information to outside world. And there is a good chance that translators becoming one of the offerings of WCM products.
- Search: Local/regional seach will start occupying the search space. This might lead to emergence of lot of localized search engines and will provide stiff challenge to some of the bigger players today in the industry
- Social Networking: With Web 2.0 and social networking the key in todays world, I can imagine local facebook, twitter etc. versions emerging in the market. Localized social search is other area to watch out.
- Migration tools: Emergence of tools which could help to migrate your existing site to localized version
The announcement will:
- Bring in new business opportunities and whole new dimension for non-latin countries
- Internet users will increase exponentially
- Internet will start becoming the preferred source of communication for non-latin countries through localized email and social networking sites
- System Integrators local market in non-latin countires will increase many folds
- Add more challenge to the big brands as they will be pressured to register their current domain names in any number of non-Latin-script languages to prevent fake sites
- Another potential issue highlighted is that some characters in non-Latin scripts appear similar to those of Latin-alphabet characters. So, if we substitutea non-Latin character for the similar Latin character, it will createa unique URL — and the potential for site-spoofing
What are your thoughts about it?