Welcome to the Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) information area.
Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) are domain names represented by local language characters. Such domain names could contain letters or characters from non-ASCII scripts (for example, Arabic or Chinese). Many efforts are ongoing in the Internet community to make domain names available in character sets other than ASCII.
These "internationalized domain name" (IDN) efforts were the subject of a 25 September 2000 resolution by the ICANN Board of Directors, which recognized "that it is important that the Internet evolve to be more accessible to those who do not use the ASCII character set," and also stressed that "the internationalization of the Internet's domain name system must be accomplished through standards that are open, non-proprietary, and fully compatible with the Internet's existing end-to-end model and that preserve globally unique naming in a universally resolvable public name space."
This area is designed to document the progress of the implementation of IDNs as well as allow for discussion of issues encountered in implementation. As part of this effort, ICANN hosts a publicly archived mailing list for discussion of IDN implementation issues. All gTLD and ccTLD registries and other interested parties are encouraged to participate in the IDN-discuss list.
RFC 3490 Internationalizing Domain Names in Applications
RFC 3491 Nameprep: A Stringprep Profile for Internationalized Domain Names
RFC 3492 Punycode: A Bootstring encoding of Unicode for Internationalized Domain Names in Applications
Deployment of IDNs (ICANN Announcement 20 June 2003)