IDNs Used in .org Domains

The content of a website can appear in any language, but domain names have generally been limited to the characters used in English. Since the majority of the world speaks a language other than English, this can present a significant barrier to internet access for many cultures.

Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) refer to the ability to use characters from any language (e.g., á, ç, è, ñ, ö) in domain names. While there is common agreement that introducing IDNs is a worthwhile objective, there are inherent technical challenges complicating implementation. In addition, the Domain Name System (DNS) that links text-based website names to their numeric IP addresses primarily uses the ASCII character set, which is not designed to support languages other than English.

Working with standards-setting bodies and the engineering community, .org helped spearhead efforts to find effective IDN solutions. Today, a simple, efficient encoding method called Punycode is used to register domain names in native languages by translating non-ASCII characters into characters allowed in host name labels (ASCII letters, digits and hyphens) and back again.

If an IDN that is registered and has/have character variants according to the appropriate language authority, then those IDN variants as used in .org will be reserved and restricted for registration by the registry.

IDNs are currently available for .org registration in the following:

IDN Language Script/Policy IDN Language Tag Effective Date
Russian Cyrillic BS, BG, BE, MK, RU, SR, UK 19-Feb-2011
Chinese ZH 22-Jan-2010
Danish DA 23-Jul-2005
German DE 15-Jan-2005
Hungarian HU 23-Jul-2005
Icelandic IS 23-Jul-2005
Korean KO 23-Jul-2005
Latvian LV 23-Jul-2005
Lithuanian LT 23-Jul-2005
Polish PL 23-Jul-2005
Spanish ES 3-Mar-2007
Swedish SV 23-Jul-2005

 

.org continues to work on resolving IDN difficulties to make the internet more accessible in as many languages as possible.

Additional resources about IDNs used in .org include:

Go to Find a Registrar to locate a registrar that offers IDNs in .org domains.