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Hebrew .com off to a slow start

Kevin Murphy, November 21, 2018, 08:55:10 (UTC), Domain Registries

The Hebrew transliteration of .com has only sold a couple hundred domains since it went into general availability.

Verisign took the new gTLD קום. (Hebrew is a right-to-left script, so the dot comes after the string) to market November 5, when it had about 3,200 domains in its zone file. It now stands around the 3,400 mark.

The pre-GA domains are a combination of a few hundred sunrise regs and a few thousand exact-match .coms that were grandfathered in during a special registration period.

It’s not a stellar performance out of the gates, but Hebrew is not a widely-spoken language and most of its speakers are also very familiar with the Latin script.

There are between seven and nine million Hebrew speakers in the world, according to Wikipedia. It doesn’t make the top 100 languages in the world.

The ccTLD for Israel, where most of these speakers live, reports that it currently has 246,795 .il domains under management. That’s a middling amount when compared to similarly sized countries such as Serbia (about 100,000 names) and Switzerland (over 2 million).

Verisign’s original application for this transliteration had to be corrected, from קום. to קוֹם. If you can tell the difference, you have better eyesight than me.

In the root, the gTLD is Punycoded as .xn--9dbq2a.

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Comments (6)

  1. Rubens Kuhl says:

    I believe a comparison could be made between names in this IDN zone and IDN domains with the same script in .com …

  2. Richard Funden says:

    The second character is curved to the right on top for the new version and straight in the previous version.

  3. Eric Borgos says:

    Assuming I had a Hebrew keyboard, does a browser such as Firefox know קום is a domain name when I type the period at the end of it (because Hebrew is right-to-left)? It seems like that would be confusing to it

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Do you need the Hebrew keyboard?

      This Google search brings up a bunch of קום. domains you could copy-paste or click on

      https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=site%3A%D7%A7%D7%95%D7%9D.

      • Eric Borgos says:

        Good point. I tried one now and it worked but they all are in this format:

        סלקום.קום

        where the dot is in the middle (I don’t speak Hebrew so I am not sure what part is what). So does that mean because of the right-to-left issue, this looks like a subdomain (to everybody else)?

        • Kevin Murphy says:

          Perhaps my post was confusing. When I said the dot is on the right, I meant when you’re talking about the TLD alone without a second level. With a second level, it’s obviously always in the middle.

          In Chrome, when I visit סלקום.קום, the left of the dot is the TLD and the right of the dot is the 2LD.

          It may depend on your browser configuration as to whether you see the Hebrew or the ASCII.

          Under the hood, the domain is actually xn--9dbnen5a.xn--9dbq2a, where the TLD is to the right of the dot as usual.

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