Since the internet's creation in the 1980's, web domains have always been written with the Latin alphabet, until now.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced Thursday that Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will now be able to offer domain names in their own language.
These four countries passed the language character (string) evaluation, intended to avoid confusion with other top level domain names.
They may now request that their Internet names be included in the Internet domain names root system, so they can be accessed by all users globally by mid-2010.
“These international names will now allow people to type entire domain names in their own language. This marks a pivotal moment in the history of Internet domain names,” said ICANN CEO and President Rod Beckstrom in a statement.
ICANN said that it has received 16 applications in 8 languages since mid-November last year, but did not offer details on the progress of these applications.