Domain names in Thaana?

The Internationalized Domain Names for Applications (IDNA) standard which allows non-Latin alphabet to be used as domain names has been around for a few years and many of the top domain registries do support IDN registration now. ICANN, the corporation responsible for the management of the domain name system, also recently approved the creation of country-code top level domains in non-Latin alphabet. Hence, countries can now use top-level domains in their own language. Egypt, for example, now has adopted "‏مصر" as an option in addition to the usual Latin-based top level domain "eg".

The IDNA standard, along with the recent ICANN approval, means that there is now a framework allowing domain names to be written entirely written in Thaana. Before one gets too excited, there are a few issues to be aware of though. First, unfortunately the use of fili (diacritics) in the name seems to be not supported by IDNA (I've yet to read up to see whether this is an issue with the current implementations of IDN or something inherent in the IDNA standards). So, any domain name will be just a jumble of Thaana letters for now. I had to choose the address "ޖ.com" instead of "ޖާ.com" because the latter is unsupported. Second, for us to be able to have fully Thaana domain names, the government has to first adopt a suitable top-level domain (perhaps "ދވހރއޖ" or "ރއޖ"?), get ICANN approval and then wait for licensed Maldivian domain registrars (only Dhiraagu as far as I am aware) to start accepting registrations under the new top-level domain. This might seem quite pointless but given the increasing number of Thaana-based websites, I think we are soon going to see an explosion in the number of websites with domain names in Thaana.

Let's see how it all goes... :-)


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