Friday, October 30, 2009

What's "The Reaction" in Cyrillic?

The BBC reports that the Internet as we know it is about to change dramatically:

The internet regulator has approved plans to allow non-Latin-script web addresses, in a move that is set to transform the online world.

The board of Icann voted at its annual meeting in Seoul to allow domain names in Arabic, Chinese and other scripts.

More than half of the 1.6 billion people who use the internet speak languages with non-Latin scripts.

It is being described as the biggest change to the way the internet works since it was created 40 years ago.

The first Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) could be in use next year.

I suppose it was about time for the period of Latin hegemony to come to an end, even if this will undoubtedly make the Internet more complicated to use. (To access an Arabic website, for example, would one not need to know Arabic script? Could this move not actually get in the way of effective communication across culture and language divides? I understand the objection to Latin dominance, but at least there's been a domain name standard to facilitate cross-cultural and cross-linguistic interaction.)


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