VeriSign expands domain names to over 350 languages

If you’ve been waiting to register your Web address in Arabic, are convinced that an Urdu URL will be the answer to your dot-com woes or perhaps are dying to have a domain name written in Cherokee, VeriSign Inc. said Friday that it can help.

VeriSign, the company charged by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) with registering and administrating the .com, .org. and .net domain names, which act as addresses for Web sites, announced that it has added support for an additional 180 languages, bringing the total number of languages available in which to register domain names to more than 350.

Since early November, when VeriSign first began offering multilingual domain names, hundreds of thousands of non-English domains have been registered the company said, with many companies registering the phonetic equivalents of their names in other languages.

The new domains allow users in countries whose languages do not rely on the Roman system of letters and numbers to create and register domains in their native writing systems, the company said. The new domain options now include the languages used by roughly 80 per cent of the world’s population, VeriSign said.

The company did offer one caveat, however, saying that the multilingual domain-name program is not yet final and some domains registered now might be invalidated when the program is finalized. Until then, though, users can start registering domains in Old English, Old Icelandic, Neo-Aramaic, Inner Mongolian, Tamil, Bengali, Armenian, Esperanto and more.

VeriSign, in Mountain View, Calif., can be reached at