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What are IDNs for? by Tina Dam

The question as to what are Internationalised Domain Names, or IDNs, for, is a question Tina Dam says she is asked regularly. In a post called Internationalization and Localization on the ICANN blog, Tina says the questions put to her are in the context of internationalising versus localising the domain name space.

Examples of questions asked are:

Well, but I don’t have a keyboard that enables me to type in all these new characters, so I cannot type in these IDN addresses, why are you allowing this to happen?

I don’t understand so IDNs will keep me from accessing and using the Internet like I used to, that is not a positive development, why are you doing this?

Tina says the answers are really quite simple: internationalising the domain names is not done in order for all users across the world to be able to type in all domain names. It is done to ease local communication and accessibility. It is called internationalization (and not localisation) because the Internet and the DNS is a function that needs to work on a global or international level. However, it is the individual user or business choice as to what characters (within the current standard and registry offerings) their domain name should contain.

Source DomainNews