To celebrate the first decade of .ME, we are launching a diverse range of Internationalized Domain Names (IDN), beginning November 12th, 2018, 09:00 UTC. As of November 12th, you will be able to register your .ME domain in the following languages and scripts: Arabic, Belarusian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Croatian, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Montenegrin (Latin and Cyrillic), Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian (Latin and Cyrillic), Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian.
Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) are Internet domain names that include characters other than Latin alphabet letters A-Z, digits, and hyphens. Although 70% of the world’s population uses Latin alphabet, less than half of them use only letters A-Z, which makes IDNs very useful for the words that cannot be properly described without characters used in the local representation of a language.
“Personal appeal and worldwide availability from the day one is what made .ME domains so popular”, said .ME Registry CEO Predrag Lesic. “We feel that November 12th is a very important day for us because, with the launch of .ME IDNs, people around the world will be able to register .ME domain names using their own national alphabets. It does not get more personal (or global) than this!”
The introduction of the IDNs in the .ME zone does not affect how the Domain Name System (DNS) works.
The DNS was originally developed to recognize only ASCII characters (“Latin alphabet letters A-Z” , “0–9″ and ”-” ), and was not planned to manage characters used in other languages like Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, and Latin alphabet-based characters with diacritics or ligatures, such as German, Spanish and French (letters like æ, ä, ö, ü, ă, â, î, ș, ñ, š, č, ž, ć). However, with the implementation of IDNs in the system, these scripts can be used to register a .ME domain. Now, when the registrant tries to register an IDN, the domain registrar converts the local-language characters into a sequence of supported letters using an ASCII-compatible encoding (ACE) in the domain registration process. That means that the ACE prefix, “xn--” is used to represent an IDN. When an IDN is typed in a Web browser, and nowadays all browsers support IDNs, it encodes the characters into an ACE string that DNS understands. The DNS processes the request and returns the information to the browser as with any other domain.
.ME IDNs may be registered for 1 to 10-year terms on a First-Come-First-Served (FCFS) basis with .ME accredited registrars or their resellers. To access the complete list of .ME accredited registrars, please visit https://domain.me/accredited-registrars/#become-a-registrar.