EURid, the entity responsible for managing the «.eu» top-level domains, has since today made available to interested parties the possibility of registering addresses that include characters from the Latin, Greek and Cyrillic alphabets – used in most Eastern European countries.
Until now, it was only possible to register IDNs (International Domain Names) that only included characters from the Roman alphabet. The step taken this Thursday is part of an effort to give the 27 countries of the European Union the chance to express themselves in their original languages, also in this regard.
The Portuguese gain, for example, the cedilla accents and seats. For neighboring Spain the difference is more dramatic: it means the difference between being able to write the name of the country in its original or translated form.
After the green light given by ICANN – Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – at the end of October, EURid is now accepting the first registrations. The criterion of «ownership» depends on the speed of the interested parties.
Despite this, EURid President Marc Van Wesemael advises the registration of website names in two versions, one in the official language of the country and another in the «international version», due to the difficulty that the new characters may represent for users in countries that are not familiar with this type of alphabets.