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Verisign launches Hebrew .com domain

Verisign has owned rights to the .com domain for many years, and profited enormously. So it’s no surprise that the company has been eager to see continued profits from language/script-specific equivalents of .com.

So it has recently pushed ahead with the Hebrew .com, which reads קום.

Verisign notes in CircleID:

Notably, a Verisign survey conducted in Israel in September 2017, comprised of 150 decision makers in small and medium-sized businesses with up to 30 employees, found that 69 percent of respondents would register a domain name that’s fully in Hebrew if they could.

But Domain Name Wire is not so bullish about this domain:

That hasn’t panned out so far. Verisign has launched three of these domains. .コム in Japanese and .닷컴 in Korean have fewer than 7,000 registrations each. The Korean .net transliteration, .닷넷, has even fewer registrations.

The key words here are “so far.” We’re still in the early days of non-Latin domains. I remain bullish on them. One of the main obstacles, I believe, have been the success of mobile apps that have usurped domains entirely. But walled gardens such as Facebook may not be losing their appeal in the years ahead, which would put the spotlight back on localized domains.

For more about IDNs, check out the latest edition of our map.

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Think you can succeed in India supporting English only? Think again.

#serveinmylanguage

It’s more than a hashtag; it’s a social movement. And it’s growing.

A movement among Indian consumers to force the vendors who depend on their business to actually support their native languages.

As this Times of India article notes: From ATMs to deposit slips, withdrawal challans and call centres, most public and private banks feel that service in Hindi and English should suffice their customer base –– Indians who converse in 22 major languages and 720 dialects.

This article is specific to the banking industry, but it’s safe to say that this is the beginning of something much bigger. Linguistically, India has been poorly served by websites.

As I noted in the 2018 Web Globalization Report Card, only 7% of the global websites studied support Hindi, followed by Urdu and Tamil. According to research conducted by Nielsen in 2017, 68% of Indian internet users consider local-language content to be more reliable than English. Facebook certainly understands this; Facebook supports more than half of India’s official languages. And it’s no surprise that Facebook now has more users in India than in the US.

Fortunately, some Indian banks are now becoming more multilingual. The Times of India article notes:

Private banks such as ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank are trying to be more multi-lingual in their digital banking strategy. “For instance, the Kotak Bharat app is aimed at financial inclusion. Users can transfer money, recharge their mobile, buy insurance, etc in Hindi, English, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil or Kannada. We plan to expand the app to handle other regional languages,” says Deepak Sharma, chief digital officer at Kotak Mahindra Bank.

And as you can see by this excerpt from my newly updated IDN poster, India represents a significant diversity of languages and scripts:

Languages are more than a means to an end; they are a sign of respect.

And companies that invest in languages are not only investing in their customers but investing in their own future.

Source

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A unique look at the emerging multilingual Internet

I’m happy to announce that I’ve updated my map of the world’s internationalized domain names for 2018:

The map includes all ICANN-approved country code IDNs for the world — more than 50 across more than 30 countries and regions.

I’ve also included a sidebar that details the many scripts and languages now supported within India. You can learn more and purchase here.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

I also design customized versions of this map as well as the Country Codes of the World map. These designs cover entire walls in offices in the US and Europe. I’m also beginning work on site-specific installations using mixed media. If you have any questions, please contact me.

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Country Codes of the World XL

I love to design custom Country Code or IDN prints for various companies and organizations.

And, on occasion, these prints can be quite large, as shown below:

cctld wall print

This photo is from the London office of a US-based company. I hope to see it in person someday.

If you’re interested in a custom design for your office, or wherever, let me know.

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Now you can register the Korean equivalent of .com: 닷컴

Earlier this year Verisign, the registry that manages the .com and .net domains, began rolling out the localized Japanese equivalent of .com: .コム.

Today, Verisign adds another language to the mix, with the rollout of the Korean versions of both .com (.닷컴 ) and .net (.닷넷).

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 10.11.54 AM

This is sunrise period of registration, which is limited to trademark owners. The landrush period begins on August 16th.

Here are details on how these new localized domain names will function:

korean_IDNs

PS: The landrush for the Japanese equivalent of .com begins today!

 

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You can now register the Japanese equivalent of .com: .コム

verisign_japanese_com

And so it begins.

Verisign, the registrar that manages .com domains, has begun its rollout of non-Latin .com equivalents, beginning with Japanese:

Japanese .com domain

Now, if you don’t have a Japanese domain name, slapping .コム to the end of your company’s name probably doesn’t make much sense from a branding perspective (though absolutely from an intellectual property perspective).

But more and more companies DO have Japanese domains names (or should).

And these companies will be registering this domain, if they haven’t already.

The official land rush begins May 16, 2016. So get ready!

Japanese is only just the beginning.

 

 

 

 

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Bulgaria (at long last) gets it own internationalized domain name (IDN)

bulgaria_idn

Five years ago, Bulgaria applied for an IDN but was denied by ICANN on the basis of “string similarity” with the country code of Brazil.

Here is the Bulgarian IDN side by side with Brazil’s ccTLD:  бг  br.

String similarity is a complex and controversial issue. But Bulgaria refused to take no for an answer and, five long years later, received approval.

I’ve updated our IDN map to include Bulgaria’s IDN (see detail above).

There are now 33 country/regions with IDNs.

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Google launches its first Japanese IDN

I’ve long talked about the importance of non-Latin domain names, or IDNs (Internationalized Domain Names).

Google has gone live with one if its many IDNs: みんな.

I want to emphasize here that this is a top-level IDN — that is, the equivalent of a .com or .org.

This TLD, according to Google, stands for “everyone.”

So you could in effect register “someword.everyone,” which sounds a bit odd to me but I’m not Japanese.

And, frankly, the Japanese have not been blessed with much in the way of IDN options up to this point.

There is no Japanese-language country code, for instance. And few Japanese-based companies have been aggressive in promoting IDNs.

The new Google IDN website leads with a headline that translates to Let’s Start With.Everyone.

japanese IDN Google

Check out the video to get a good idea of how Google is positioning this domain against .com and .jp:

Despite the fancy website and video, I don’t believe Google is fully invested in the success of this domain.

If it were invested, the domain wouldn’t cost roughly $18 to register (by my rough calculations).

But that doesn’t mean Google can’t become invested in it at a later point.

The good news is that Google is moving ahead on commercializing IDNs.

I expect other tech companies to follow.