First non-Latin web addresses go live

The first web addresses to not be written in a latin-based script have gone live on the Internet, beginning with the Egypt's Communications Ministry.

As a result of the Web's Western roots, domain servers were previously only able to accept addresses written in the Latin alphabet, but that policy was altered in a meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in late 2009, which voted to accept any script.

Egypt, Saudi Arabi and the United Arab Emirates were first in line to get their domain names, meaning that residents can now register addresses in their native script. "All three are Arabic script domains, and will enable domain names written fully right-to-left", said Kim Davies of Icann in a blog post.

More than 21 requests from other countries have been received by ICANN, who'll be sifting through them individually and working out which to activate. Requests have been made in 11 languages, including Chinese, Russian, Tamil and Thai.



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