[UA-discuss] Language - how do you refer to non-ASCII to a non-technical audience?

Andre Schappo A.Schappo at lboro.ac.uk
Mon Jul 25 14:32:14 UTC 2016

Ah!😀 I have had many conversations on this topic😀

In my experience in comes down to the context, the people one is conversing with. In Computer Science academic circles I mostly use the term "Unicode Domain Name". In Computer Science Academic circles though, I do still have to firstly explain what Unicode is, as few understand Unicode. Once Unicode is explained then I find that "Unicode Domain Name" works quite well. Unicode Domain Name indicates that the Domain Name can be composed of characters across the range of available Unicode characters and thus multiple human language scripts.

For a single term for non techies (actually for most techies as well) I would go for and have used many times myself the term "non-English Domain Names". Sometimes I use the term "non-English Web Addresses". I do though think it essential to give examples of working IDNs with the explanation. I really do mean working examples. I have seen far too many presentation slides that give IDNs that do not work. I make a point of trying out IDNs I see in presentation slides.

Explanation of IDNs on websites and Apps could be made adaptive based on the user determined preferred display language. So, for example, if user set preferred language is Chinese, then use Chinese IDNs as examples. This would be a direct and literal implementation of "Your Language Domain Names". This could be done on https://uasg.tech

André Schappo

On 22 Jul 2016, at 20:21, Don Hollander <don.hollander at icann.org<mailto:don.hollander at icann.org>> wrote:

I’ve been grappling with this for la very long and now find out I’m not the only one.

So, how would you simply refer to IDNs.

a) non-ASCII  - probably technically correct, but would your grandmother know what this meant?
b) non-Latin - Not even close to being correct as Latin character sets have all sorts of extra bits and bobs
c) non-English - Currently my favourite at the moment.

I’m looking for something really short.

Your thoughts?


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