Home / Industry

Non-English "IDN Email" Addresses Are Finally Working!

Late this afternoon (Tuesday, August 5th, 2014), Google announced a long-awaited and highly anticipated change that took place today with Gmail, which will surely be remembered as one of the most important milestones in the history of internet email: The "client-side" implementation of non-Latin, character-based Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) email.

To say this announcement is "huge" is putting it lightly.

While the world's relevant standards-setting body, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has had a ratified standard for non-English email since 2012, not a single provider of email services — not Google, not Yahoo, not Hotmail, not Microsoft's Outlook, not any of the Chinese providers — actually supported the IETF standard.

Before today, this meant that while you could get an "IDN email" address for your non English domain name — say, 夏明@域通联达。在线 (translated: simon@tldregistry.online in Chinese), nobody could actually send you emails to that address!

Today, thanks to Google, this English-specific email address barrier has been broken, and will now allow non-English speaking email users to email in their native language, making the process of emailing faster, easier, and more efficient. And that's the way the internet should be for everyone, regardless of what language you speak.

In the announcement, Software Engineer Pedro Chaparro Monferrer states, "Less than half of the world's population has a mother tongue that uses the Latin alphabet. And even fewer people use only the letters A-Z."

Testing IDN Email in Gmail

Within minutes of learning about Gmail's new multi-lingual capabilities, we tested the system. In the screenshot below, we have addressed a new standard Gmail message to an IDN Email address. Note that we used the "Chinese dot" (。) rather than the ASCII/English dot (.) which is what a typical Chinese user would do when typing a Chinese email address.

Then we hit send. The message was accepted by Google's email server, and the message was on its way!

In the screenshot below, you can see that Gmail was particularly nice and converted the Chinese dot to an ASCII dot, so as to not break the IETF standard for IDN email. Nice touch, Gmail!

Today, the internet changed for the better for around half of Earth's internet users

Google understands that the number of people around the world that experience difficulty using email simply because of what language they speak, is exponentially high.

Thanks to Google, the confusion, hassle, and inconvenience of using English-only email addresses is now considerably diminished, and will eventually be completely dissolved.

We applaud Google and are very excited that our many owners of Chinese domain names can finally use email. As the first email client technology provider in the world to support the IETF standard, the company has taken a big step towards breaking the unfair hegemony of English in email, and the internet in general.

"Language should never be a barrier when it comes to connecting with others and with this step forward, truly global email is now even closer to becoming a reality," Chaparro Monferrer wrote.

We agree.

About Dot Chinese Online & Dot Chinese Website

Dot Chinese Online & Dot Chinese Website

Dot Chinese Online (.在线) & Dot Chinese Website (.中文网) are the essential new Chinese TLDs. (Learn More)

Related topics: Domain Names, Email, Multilinguism, Top-Level Domains

WEEKLY WRAP — Get CircleID's Weekly Summary Report by Email:

Related Blogs

The Empire Strikes Back: "New" Verisign Hums a Familiar Tune

Thirty-Three Million and Counting

The Real Facts About New gTLDs

Email Vendors: Time to Build in DMARC

Wait and See Approach on Abuse

Related News

Topics

Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

Season's Greetings - 2014 End of Year Message from DotConnectAfrica

Minds + Machines in 2014 and 2015

New .VOTE and .VOTO Domains Launched

Consumers Prefer the .ORGANIC Domain for True-Organic Goods

DNW Podcast Interview with Antony Van Couvering

TLD Registry and Right of the Dot Establish a Domain Name Industry "Dream Team"

TLD Registry Ltd Welcomes New Board Members

New .LGBT Top-Level Domain Launched

.sydney Domain Names Now Available in Pre-Release

"Chinese Domaining Masterclass" to be Presented at NamesCon Las Vegas in January 2015

Auction and Sales Channel Update

Radix Set to Launch .SITE TLD in 2015

Annual Manthan Award Event This Week

Domain Name .Africa Faces Hurdles - Q&A with Sophia Bekele

LogicBoxes Announces Automation Solutions for ccTLD

List of New gTLD Availability & Key Information Provided for Download

Radix Launches .Space for Individuals, Freelancers and Professionals

TLD Registry Wins Best Marketing Award at China New gTLD Roadshow

Public Interest Registry Introduces 'OnGood' - New Brand Identity for .ngo & .ong

Victorian Government and City of Melbourne Launch .melbourne Web Addresses

Sponsored Topics

Verisign

Security

Sponsored by
Verisign
Minds + Machines

Top-Level Domains

Sponsored by
Minds + Machines
dotMobi

Mobile

Sponsored by
dotMobi
Afilias

DNSSEC

Sponsored by
Afilias