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HelpDomainsInternational Domain Names (IDNs)

International Domain Names (IDNs)

  • What is ASCII and what are ASCII vs. Non-ASCII characters in domains?

    ASCII, pronounced ask-ee, stands for the American Standard Code for Information Interchange. ASCII was originally based on the English alphabet and consists of 128 characters including A-Z, 0-9, punctuation, spaces, and other control codes that can be found on a standard English keyboard. These 128 characters are then assigned a number from 0 to 127 to represent them in data transfer from one computer to the other. While ASCII code was originally developed for teletypewriters (a device used to send and receive messages), it found broader application with the development of personal computers.ASCII and Non-ASCII Characters in Domain NamesASCII domains, much like ASCII in general, is based on the English alphabet. These domains are limited to only include the following characters: A-Z, 0-9, and dashes (-). Other types of punctuation, spaces, etc. are not allowed for these domains. ASCII domains are much more prevalent than non-ASCII character domains currently as non-ASCII domains were only just recently made available for public registration (around 2010).Examples of ASCII Character Domains: .com .org .xyz .co Non-ASCII domains are commonly referred to as Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs). More recently, international domain extensions have also become available in a variety of languages and scripts. These types of domains allow for a much larger variety of characters to be included, which opens up the Internet to more people around the world through accessibility and use of other languages. In short, non-ASCII domains are not confined strictly to ASCII characters (A-Z, 0-9, and dashes), they allow for wide variety of unique characters.Examples of Non-ASCII Characters used in international domain extensions: .भारत (used for websites in India) .网络 (the .NET equivalent in China) .קום (the .COM equivalent in Hebrew) .இந்தியா (meaning 'Tamil' for India, which is a language spoken in parts of India)

  • What is punycode?

    Punycode is a way to represent International Domain Names (IDNs) with the limited character set (A-Z, 0-9) supported by the domain name system. For example, "münich" would be encoded as "mnich-kva".An IDN takes the punycode encoding, and adds a "xn--" in front of it. So "münich.com" would become "xn--mnich-kva.com".We support many domain extensions that offer IDNs in a variety of languages. To see a list and search for an IDN domain, visit our IDN page.What is Unicode?

  • What is an Internationalized Domain Name (IDN)?

    Internationalized domain names (IDNs) are domain names that either: are written in languages/scripts using Latin letters with diacritics (accents marks such as é or ü) or do not use the Latin alphabet at all IDNs allow native speakers of non-Latin based scripts to access the Internet in their own language. Since Internet usage is rising around the world and the world is full of many different languages and scripts (Chinese being the most spoken language!), IDNs offer a great way to connect with your target market no matter what they speak!We support many domain extensions that offer IDNs in a variety of languages. To see a list and search for an IDN domain, visit our IDN page.Please note that IDNs are represented in punycode, which puts the IDN into the character set A-Z and 0-9, to connect with the domain name system (DNS).

  • What is Unicode?

    Unicode is a universal character encoding standard that is used to support characters in non-ASCII scripts. The Internet was originally built on ASCII, which is based on the English alphabet and consists of only 128 characters.Unicode allows for support of all the languages around the world and their unique character sets - Unicode can support over 1 million characters! The way Unicode works is by allowing more bits, short for binary digit, which are units of information on a machine. ASCII characters only require about 7 bits, while Unicode uses 16 bits. This is necessary because it takes more bits to process languages such as Chinese, Arabic, and Russian.There are different types of Unicode including UTF-8 and UTF-16, the two most common. UTF-8 has become the typical standard used on the web because it adjusts the number of bits used depending on the character. This means that ASCII characters in UTF-8 only take up the bits they need to process.What is punycode?

  • What is an internationalized top-level domain (IDN TLD)?

    An internationalized top-level domain (IDN TLD) is a top-level domain (TLD) that uses characters other than A-Z from the English alphabet (also known as non-ASCII characters). IDN TLDs allow for characters to the right of the dot to be from the Arabic alphabet, be Chinese characters, or even simply have the proper accent marks. For example, .닷컴 is the equivalent of .COM in Korean and .संग� न is the equivalent of .ORG for Hindi speakers. IDN TLDs are different from Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) because they are to the right of the dot in a domain name. IDNs are to the left of the dot. Both ASCII and non-ASCII TLDs support IDNs. See a list of which TLDs support IDNs and search for one on our IDN search page. In addition to IDN TLDs, there are also IDN ccTLDs. What internationalized domain extensions in other languages do you offer? What is punycode?

  • What are internationalized country code top-level domains (IDN ccTLDs)?

    Internationalized country code top-level domains (IDN ccTLDs) are ccTLDs that use their native country's non-Latin script. For example, China's ccTLD is .CN and its IDN ccTLD is .中国, which translates to "China" in Chinese. Unlike the ccTLDs, which are based on ISO country codes, IDN ccTLDs have more variation in their set up - some are codes and some are full words.In addition to IDN ccTLDs, which are specifically tied to a country, there are also IDN TLDs, which are more general. Both of these types of TLDs help open up the Internet to more people from around the world who do not speak or read a Latin-based language.There are also IDNs or Internationalized Domain Names, which refer to the section of the domain name that is to the left of the dot. Both ASCII and non-ASCII character TLDs offer IDN registrations.What internationalized domain extensions in other languages do you offer?What is punycode?

  • Why was my international domain name (IDN) not registered?

    Sometimes our domain search will say that your IDN is available, but we will not be able to register the domain for you. The problem is caused by one of the following reasons: The IDN you entered contains characters that are not supported. The central registries do not support every character for every language. For example, in Greek there are some characters that are actually the combination of two simpler characters. The registry will support the simpler characters, but not the combined character. Another example is Verisign, the central registry for .COM, .NET, & .CC, does not allow the Euro symbol. A variant of the IDN already exists. Some languages have two ways to write the same character. For example, Chinese has traditional characters and simplified characters. If someone has registered the traditional version of your IDN, then you are not allowed to register the simplified version. The IDN you entered combines two different languages. Sometimes combining characters from two different languages into one IDN is not allowed and will result in a "charset problems" error in our system. For example, a domain containing Cyrillic characters can not also have English characters. This is because the Cyrillic alphabet is related to the English alphabet and combining characters from both languages could lead to confusion. Other language combinations are allowed, like Chinese and English. Unfortunately, the IDN domain search will not detect these errors. The errors can not be detected until we try to register your IDN. If for some reason your IDN can not be registered, you will be issued an account credit which can be used towards your next Dynadot order.

  • What is a .CA IDN Variant Bundle?

    The central registry for .CA allows these additional characters for IDNs: é, ë, ê, è, â, �, æ, ô, œ, ù, û, ü, ç, î, ï, and ÿ. When a .CA IDN is first registered, all variants of that IDN including the ASCII domain are reserved for the registrant to optionally register in the future. For example, if the domain çïrâ.ca is registered, only the same registrant can register cirâ.ca or cira.ca. Each domain in the bundle will be treated as a separate registration and costs the same as a new domain registration. The only difference is when changing the registrant Whois contact or transferring the domain, all domains in the bundle must be set to the new registrant or be transferred.

  • What is an IDN variant?

    An Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) variant is an alternative form of the domain name. The most common example is if you register a Chinese domain name. Chinese has two scripts for the same character, simplified and traditional. Someone may have already registered the simplifed version of a domain, preventing you from registering the traditional version. Unfortunately, due to the current design of Verisign, the central registry for .COM, .NET, and .CC, we cannot check in advance if a variant of a domain name exists. We can only attempt to register the domain, and if a variant does exist, we receive an error message. Sometimes, you may encounter a variant error message in our search results if we recently encountered an error with that same domain name. In such cases, we automatically provide account credit for any domains that we were unable to register.

  • Why can't I register the Euro symbol (€) in my IDN?

    For , international domain names (IDNs), the Euro symbol, , is not allowed. This is according to the central registry, :"The Euro symbol is included in a set of codepoints that is blocked. There are some legacy registrations that contain the symbol, but new registrations are not allowed."You may not be able to register the Euro sign, but you can pay with Euros!

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