What are IDNs?

IDNs (Internationalized Domain Names) are foreign language domain names (such as those in Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Hebrew, and others) that contain non-ASCII (A-Z, 0-9) characters. The IDN is followed by either a Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD), such as .com, .net, .org., or a Country Coded Top Level Domain (ccTLD), such as .cn, .jp, .es, .de.

Some examples of IDNs:

Domains which are not English, but do not contain any non-ASCII characters (e.g. GutenMorgen.com, Computadora.net) are not IDNs.

To make the foreign language domain names consistent, they are translated (using Punycode) into an ASCII text representation that is compatible with the Domain Name System. A system called Internationalizing Domain Names in Applications (IDNA) was adopted as a standard, and has been implemented in several top level domains. In October 2009, (ICANN) approved the creation of country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) in the Internet that use the IDNA standard for native language scripts.

Find out more in our FAQ page.