Recently in Domain Names Category

Non-ASCII URLs to Test


Recently, there has been a lot of progress in implementing Web addresses with non-English characters including different scripts. This ability is courtesy of the IDN (Internationalized Domain Name) technology.

Some test links are given below, but they may not work in older browsers. Note also that many have ASCII only equivalents or redirect to a site with an older ASCII only URL.

Wikipedia is also a good source of non-ASCII URL's. Translated articles on Elizabeth I of England can be found at these locations.

For the latest news on IDN implementation, see IDN page on the ICANN Web site at


The Hot New .CO Domain Is....


It's the Go Super Bowl secret that was just TOO CALIENTE for TV. What is it?

Last night during the Super Bowl, Go revealed new Go Gaddy girl Joan Rivers and a "hot new .co domain" you can register for. It's the ".co" domain you see in UK ( and Japan ( that it really isn't.

Now that you're on the Internet, the secret of .co can now to be revealed as...the country code of Colombia. So now we can welcome another nation into the fold those who are using their country code to generate revenue from domain name registration. Other famous domain nations include Tuvalu (.tv), Montenegro (.me) and Libya (.ly),

The .co domain is especially well-positioned though because not only is it very similar to the prized .com suffix, but other countries have established .co as a near synonym for .com. I wish Colombia the best in this enterprise.


The Language Codes of the Former Yugoslavia


If you want to develop a language code headache, head straight to the former Yugoslavia, once a country whose national language was "Serbo-Croatian" (ISO-639 language code: sh (Deprecated).

In the 1990s of course, Yugoslavia violently broke up into its constituent ethnic groups, all of whom agreed that Serbo-Croatian had been an artificially imposed literary language.

Today, most agree that "Serbo-Croatian" is really a macrolanguage of national forms for Croatian (ISO-639 language code hr), Serbian (ISO-639 language code sr), Bosnian (ISO-639 language code bs) and Montegrin (too new to have a code)

Indeed, if you look at the pages for Croatian Wikipedia (, Serbian Wikipedia ( and Bosnian Wikipedia (, you will see that although words are similar, there are distinct vocabulary differences. You will also see that Serbian Wikipedia is in Cyrillic, unlike Croatian and Bosnian.

Another Wikipedia

Yet there's another Wikipedia - the Serbo Croatian Wikipedia (, dually scripted in both Cyrillic and the Latin alphabet.. This Wikipedia is yet another related form, similar to Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian yet eerily different. A ghost of a language that has been officially declared dead, but still breathes through living speakers.

All linguists know the standard line "A language is a dialect with an army", but creation of Serbo-Croatian Wikipedia shows that governmental language planning is not so easy. Several generations of speakers grew up in "Yugoslavia" learning to become educated in "Serbo-Croatian". I even learned about Serbo-Croatian syntax from a linguistics professor from Yugoslavia...who said absolutely nothing about regional differences or Serbo-Croatian being an artificial language. As far as I knew in 1990, she was a native speaker of Serbo-Croatian.

I don't know what the fate of these linguistic forms will be. I would doubt that Yugoslavia would reunite anytime soon, and the longer the countries remain separate, the more that speakers will feel they are speaking separate languages. Yet, somewhere out there is a community who still speaks Serbo-Croatian and probably mourns the passing of a nation and its language. How long it can last is an interesting question.


And now a from...


Ever since I learned that .tv sites are actually from domains registered in the Pacific Island nation of Tuvalu, I keep an eye for unusual domain suffixes. One of my former favorites was (using the rare .us domain suffix for United States). I'm sorry it's now officially

My new favorite may be the addresses used for short URL aliases (similar to aliases). But at some point, I finally had to ask...where is .ly? Answer: It's Libya. You can look it up at (out of Belgium.

Of course, there are many more opportunities out there to explore - like .al (Albania), .an (Netherlands Antillies) .er (Eritrea), .es (Spain) .it (Italy), .in (India) and even .um (US Minor Outlying Islands). Spanish Web services may find .ar (Argentina), .er (Eretria) and .ir (Iran) interesting since these are all verb ifinitives endings. You can see even more options at this blog post. As you can see, the only barrier is our imagination and a nation's willingness to participate in these pun schemes.

This is nothing new, but always fun to observe and ponder...who are these people who provide us our popular online services? I was interested to note that has apparently branched to where .mp are the Northern Mariana Islands.

P.S. The .st suffix is São Tomé and Principe.


About The Blog

I am a Penn State technology specialist with a degree in linguistics and have maintained the Penn State Computing with Accents page since 2000.

See Elizabeth Pyatt's Homepage ( for a profile.


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