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What is the buzz this month? ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers board) recently approved a new Internationalized Domain Name Fast Track Process

. This means people will soon have localised domain endings on website addresses in Hebrew, Mandarin, Arabic or Russian languages. What does that mean in simple plain English please? It means the end of of A-Z tyranny. Seriously, it means if you cannot spell Google or Yahoo, you can use the Mandarin translation of the same names to browse the internet. If you have a Mandarin or Russian name, you can also register it and call it something like www. 奥巴马总统.com (

ICANN Bringing the Languages of the World to the Global Internet
ICANN Bringing the Languages of the World to the Global Internet

Inclusive system

No one will be left alone in this world anymore; no stone is left unturned. It is an inclusive system. You could be a reporter from Russia using an iphone and will still be able to type Russian domain name. Instead of Google, it becomes for Chinese 谷歌. Hey kids! You can now stop pretending that you cannot read English and therefore not able to find a single website on the internet to study Russian, Hebrew or Mandarin. English speaking parents can look forward to having their kids type urls in Mandarin, Arabic, Hindi or Russian. It also means foreign expats living overseas do not have to think in two or three languages at the same time when they are browsing. If you are not comfortable working with A-Z alphabets, you will soon have choices. That’s coming on November 16 2009 when the system is officially launched. The A-Z alphabet soldiers now open the kingdom doors to other compatriots who contribute to languages of the world.

Will it also mean that people become less inclined to socialize with others who do not speak their native language? In the real world, the physical environment can serve the progress of a community not just with language. Every society creates its own culture and system of social integration, so much so that when a foreigner decides to join the community, he needs a way to start interacting. If he cannot find a common interest to begin with, he will not stay very long in that community. Typically, people will always feel more at home with their own kind, based on similarities rather than differences.

In the virtual environment, however, the elements of touch and feel are removed. This means that in order to get to know other people on the other part of world, one will need to do a lot more than just a handshake or smile. Words become more important than ever before. If you are the type who is more guarded and protective of your privacy, you will only want to find friends of your kind, primarily based on the language they speak. A twitter user who uses only Chinese once responded to me,” I only read English tweets. So I am not following you.”

In this respect, you may find more Chinese or Russian people spending less time browsing English websites. If Youtube were to be translated, what would that take you to? Perhaps, website owners like myself, ought to consider adopting domain names in Russian, Chinese or Hebrew because will produce a different result if one were to type www.语言练习.com or www.童年言语.com . Assuming these domain names are available for registration, every English domain name in business ought to have a corresponding non-English url as well, as it is practiced with adopting a Chinese name if you so desire to speak Mandarin.

Endangered Languages Saved

The upside is that endangered languages like Bahasa Jawi may now be saved. Old languages can now have a place in the archives and become preserved for the next generations.

Free online online editor for typing foreign characters

So what about the keyboard? If you are using Standard English keyboard and would like to switch to typing foreign languages, you may wish to use a free online online editor for typing foreign characters and IPA symbols, called TypeIt version 2.0 is now available for use free online. Click here to read more.

What do you think the impact of the fast track process has on the world at large?

Will people spend less time browsing English websites? How do we protect our kids from being misled into clicking on banner ads with foreign urls that seemingly point to an educational site, only to discover it is not so after clicking on it? If you have a homepage, would you consider adopting a foreign name for your existing domain? Like many things on the internet, the outcomes will depend more on the performance of the users, rather than the capability of the technology. To Suceed With Languages become more desirable than every before. 🙂

In other words, if you have not started learning a second language, you should start right NOW.