Internationalised Domain Names and Internet language

Emily Taylor discusses IDNs on the Great Wall of China.

(Video has been deleted).

This video shows some of the problems that users of Internationalised Domain names currently face. Many (most?) users are not aware that domain names can be registered in scripts used by Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or Korean languages.

This video shows some of the problems that users of IDNs currently face. Many (most?) users are not aware that domain names can be registered in scripts used by Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or Korean languages. As a result, currently the levels of trust in IDNs are thought to be low. Above all, using IDNs is still problematic – and the video shows examples of how IDNs are handled inconsistently in major browsers, and are not reflected in search results. Although great advances have been made in enabling Internet access through mobile rather than desktop devices, the experience of using IDNs in the mobile environment is even more limited.

Pat Kane, Senior Vice President Naming Services of Verisign said “To date, the dialogue about Internationalised Domain Names has been driven by suppliers, not users”. Everyone assumed that simply making local language domain names available would automatically lead to an upsurge in registrations. While there are remarkable success stories, such as the Russian domain name (see www.statdom.ru for amazing statistics), the consensus seems to be that Internationalised Domain names are under performing compared to their potential. This is due to the main issues outlined in the previous paragraph.

Working on the next iteration of the EURid UNESCO World Report on IDN Deployment, many questions remain about how to close the gap of user awareness. The good news is that this year’s report will include data from more registries. Emily Taylor was head author of the 2013 Report, and will continue in this position for the 2014 Report. It will be focusing on experiences of deploying IDNs in Arab states.

Emily Taylor

Emily Taylor is the CEO of Oxford Information Labs. She is an Associate Fellow of Chatham House and is the Editor of the Journal of Cyber Policy and co-founder of ICANN accredited registrar, Oxford Information Labs.

Published: , 308 Words.

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