IDNs represent 3% of the world's domains

10 Jan 2018

According to the recently released World Report on Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) by EURid and UNESCO, IDNs now comprise 3% of the world's domains, with a total number of 8.7 million IDNs registered as of December 2016 (with a growth rate of 28% compared to the previous year). The number includes IDNs registered both in generic top-level domains and country code top-level domains, both at first and second levels. Most IDNs are registered in the Asia and Pacific region. The report concludes that IDNs help to enhance linguistic diversity in cyberspace, and that IDN scripts are an accurate predictor of the language of web content. But it also notes that there is a slow progress in addressing some of the major challenges to the mass uptake of IDNs, such as their poor usability in email, online user identifiers, and in browsers, applications, and devices.

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Multilingualism is an important aspect of the promotion and development of cultural diversity on the Internet.

The Domain Name System (DNS) handles Internet domain names (such as www.google.com) and converts them to Internet Protocol (IP) numbers (and the other way around).

Since its early days, the Internet has been a predominantly English-language medium. According to some statistics, approximately 56% of Web content is in English, whereas 75% of the world’s population does not speak English. This situation has prompted many countries to take concerted action to promote multilingualism and to protect cultural diversity.

 

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