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Web begins to be truly localised as first non-latin web addresses go live

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Today the web took a historic step to become truly localised (or localized if you use American English) as net regulator Icann switched on a system that allows full web addresses that contain no Latin characters.

Arabic nations are the first to benefit from this huge move. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the first countries to have so-called “country codes” written in Arabic scripts.

Following this localised addresses in Chinese, Thai and Tamil look likely. More than 20 countries have requested approval for international domains.

The new names are available to use now but there is still some work to be done before they work properly for everyone. Previously, websites could use some non-Latin letters, but the country codes such as .eg for Egypt had to be written in Latin script.

The first country codes are:

  • Egypt: مصر
  • Saudi Arabia: السعودية
  • United Arab Emirates: امارات

Fully Localised

All three Arabic script domains, will enable domain names written fully right-to-left to be used for the first time. Localisation has always involved ensuring that the whole page of a website has been fully translated and that cultural norms are applied. This would mean that things such as scroll bars which appear on the right hand side of western websites would be moved over to the left for example.

The new localised URLs now mean that a site can be totally localised.

More details on our localisation services.

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