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Gmail adds IDN support

Google will support non-Latin characters and accented characters.

Non-Latin characters will now work with email addresses when using Gmail.

Gmail logoGmail has added support for internationalized domain names in email addresses, in what is certainly big news for the more than half of the world that uses a non-Latin alphabet.

That means that addresses ending in شبكة. (dot Shabaka) should now work. (I’m assuming Gmail handles all IDNs, including right-to-left.) That also goes for addresses with accented characters (e.g. Ramón).

Compatibility with email and software programs — often referred to as Universal Acceptance — is key for IDN domain names to succeed. This lack of compatibility is the reason that even IDN domain name companies have to have some English on their business cards.

Gmail is certainly a big “win” for IDNs. Keep in mind that other email applications also have to work for a message to be sent/received.

Indeed, Universal Acceptance is a long way off.

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