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New Languages Added to ICANN’s IDN Wiki | Hebrew, Amharic speakers now have pages on Internationalized Domain Names evaluation site

MARINA DEL REY, Calif.: Hebrew and Amharic speakers now have dedicated wiki pages to share their experiences as a part of the global evaluation of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) being done by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

"Since its launch in October 2007, the IDN wiki has helped ICANN and the Internet community look at exactly how IDNs operate in the root, and how different software handles domain names in characters from different scripts," said Tina Dam, ICANN’s IDN Program Director. "We’re hoping that Internet users who understand Hebrew and Amharic will access these wiki pages and share their experiences."

The IDN wiki was initially based on 11 example.test domains in Arabic, Persian, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Russian, Hindi, Greek, Korean, Yiddish, Japanese and Tamil. The wiki allows Internet users to establish their own subpages with their own names in their own language such as example.test/yourname.

Though the new languages will not be used for translations of example.test in the Internet’s root, they will be used at the fourth level (after the top level “org”, the second level “icann”, and the third level “idn”) so users can have dedicated wiki pages. These language extensions to the wiki are available at http://am.idn.icann.org and http://he.idn.icann.org.

As well, with the Hebrew addition, since there is a .test TLD label in Hebrew script, an additional address has been assigned in the Hebrew language — http://דוגמא.טעסט. (If this link doesn’t work in your browser, you can access an embedded link at http://idn.icann.org/Hebrew_script.)

"We have been able to add these languages to the wiki because of interest from the community and the availability of a volunteer moderator fluent in the language to spend time with the wiki support team to localize the language area and work with users," added Dam. "Anyone interested in adding new languages can contact me directly at tina.dam@icann.org."

About ICANN:

ICANN is responsible for the global coordination of the Internet's system of unique identifiers like domain names (like .org, .museum and country codes like .uk) and the addresses used in a variety of Internet protocols that help computers reach each other over the Internet. Careful management of these resources is vital to the Internet's operation, so ICANN's global stakeholders meet regularly to develop policies that ensure the Internet's ongoing security and stability. ICANN is an internationally organized, public benefit non-profit company. For more information please visit: www.icann.org .

Media Contacts:

Jason Keenan
Media Adviser, ICANN
Ph: +1 310 382 4004
E: jason.keenan@icann.org

International: Andrew Robertson
Edelman (London)
Ph: +44 7921 588 770
E: andrew.robertson@edelman.com


More Announcements
Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."