An internationalized domain name is a domain name that has characters or spelling specific to the spoken or written language of a given population, such as ideograms, accents, cedillas or pasted letters for example.
Since the creation of the Internet, the language of domain names has been based exclusively on the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII), thus including only the characters from 0 to 9, from A to Z, and the hyphen. However, for several countries these rules have now changed.
At present time, many local languages and spellings are available for second-level domain names, i.e. the domain name to the left of the dot. This is also the case in Quebec, where PointQuébec offers the French language for second-level domain names. Diacritical signs and letters specific to the French language, such as accents, umlauts, cedillas, that can appear in a domain name. QUEBEC are as follows : â, à, æ, ç, é, è, ê, ê, î, ï, ô, œ, ù, û, ü, ÿ. Through its mission to have Francophone specificity recognized and represented on the Web, PointQuébec is currently working to make French spelling accessible for top-level domain names. Thus, instead of .QUEBEC we will eventually be able to write and read .QUÉBEC with an accent.
Francophones are still waiting for local or global solutions from email account providers to have an email address in French. Yet the technology is available to enable sending, receiving, posting and storage linked to internationalized email addresses. (EAI), including French-language emails. Technically, it is possible today to send and receive an email in French, such as : accès@français.quebec.
The issue is that the vast majority of systems deployed on the Internet do not offer email addresses in French or cannot send a French email address.
In the meantime, what to do? The transitional period towards Universal Acceptance, in domain names and internationalized emails, requires that internationalized email account holders jointly use an email address based on ASCII codes, i.e. without the French spelling. This makes it possible to route the e-mail safely, if the French-language e-mail is rejected by the sending or receiving server.
As the holder of an email address, it is also possible to validate if your provider offers an internationalized email address. This free service can be found here: https://uasg.tech/eai-check/. It makes it possible to visualize the level of Universal Acceptance achieved by providers for internationalized email services and thus to be able to make an informed choice.
For its part, PointQuébec will undertake the same process in 2023 to produce a Universal Acceptance magazine for registrars and resellers of . QUEBEC.