Google has become the latest new gTLD registry with a string live in the DNS root.
Its .みんな — Japanese for “everyone” — was delegated by ICANN last night. The URL nic.みんな resolves already to charlestonroadregistry.com, the name of Google’s registry subsidiary.
Google plans to operate it as an open, unrestricted namespace, aimed at Japanese-speaking registrants.
It’s the fifth internationalized domain name to go live and one of only three IDN applications from Google.
Google has 96 more active new gTLD applications, 57 of which are contested.
The new gTLD program’s Trademark Clearinghouse has almost 15,000 trademarks registered, according to a spokesperson.
We’re told today that there’s an average of about two labels for each registered mark, and that about half of all the marks have been registered for multiple years.
The TMCH offers registrations for one, three or five years.
Trademarks in non-Latin scripts currently account for just 3% (so roughly 450) of the registrations, which may be a cause for concern given that IDNs gTLDs will be many of the first to launch Sunrise periods.
A lot of people have noticed since the first four new gTLDs were delegated yesterday that Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t seem to handle internationalized domain names.
In fact it does, but if you’re an English-speaking user you’ll probably need to make a few small configuration changes, which should take less than a minute, to make it work.
As far as the DNS is concerned, these are the same URLs. They’re just displayed differently by Chrome, depending on your browser’s display languages settings.
If you want to see the Cyrillic version in your address bar, simply:
- Go to the Chrome Settings menu via the toolbar menu or by typing chrome://settings into the address bar.
- Click the “Language and input settings” button. It’s in the Advanced options bit, which may be hidden at first. Scroll all the way down to unhide.
- Click the Add button to add the languages you want to support in the address bar.
Right now, you can see all three active IDN gTLDs in their intended scripts by adding Arabic, Chinese (Simplified Han) and Russian. As gTLDs in other scripts are added, you’ll need to add those too.
Thanks to DNS jack o’ all trades Jothan Frakes for telling me how to do this.
The eagle-eyed regular DI reader will have noticed earlier today that I published an article claiming the first new gTLD had already gone live. Not only that, it already had a resolving web site!
That was dead wrong. The story lasted about a minute before I yanked it.
I won’t go into all the details, but suffice it to say that the confusion arose because I don’t read a word of Arabic.
I don’t read a character of Arabic either. I don’t even know where one character ends and the next begins. Or, given the way the script functions, where one begins and the next ends.
So I thought today would be an excellent time to launch Let’s Learn IDNs!, an irregular series of posts in which I, with a significant amount of help from new gTLD registries, attempt to explain IDN strings.
I’m guessing there are a large number of readers out there whose eyes, like mine, glaze over whenever they see an IDN.
We can’t tell one Chinese (or Arabic, Cyrillic, Hebrew…) TLD from another, but it would probably make our professional lives a fair bit easier if we could.
Let’s Learn IDNs! will therefore contain just enough information to help DI’s largely Latin-script-using readers recognize an IDN when they see one.
I’m not going to attempt to teach anyone Greek, but hopefully you’ll be able to come away from the series with a better chance of telling the difference between .新闻 and .八卦.
Which is obviously hugely, hugely important.
(That’s DI’s first joke in Chinese. Thanks.)
The first post, coming later today or tomorrow, will focus on TLD Registry’s .中文网 (“.chinesewebsite”).
If you’re an IDN gTLD registry and I’ve not reached out to you already, feel free to get in touch to find out how to get a Let’s Learn IDNs! post for your own string.
Domain Forum, the Bulgarian new gTLDs conference, will run for a third time on November 1 in Sofia.
The one-day event, which will be free to attend and conducted in English, will have a focus this year on Cyrillic internationalized domain names, according to organizers.
Much of the agenda has yet to be finalized but confirmed speakers include consultant Stephane Van Gelder, Blacknight CEO Michele Neylon and Afilias business development director Francesco Cetraro.
Organizer UNINET also hopes to have an ICANN VP keynoting.
Domain Forum will take place at the National Palace of Culture in central Sofia.