Little over seven years after committing to the idea of providing support for non-Roman characters on internet domain names, ICANN, the organization that oversees the Internet address system today finally began live testing top-level domains in 11 languages
: Arabic, Persian, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Russian, Hindi, Greek, Korean, Yiddish, Japanese and Tamil.
The idea behind the Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) resolution is to enable Internet users around the world to connect to sites using their native languages. People around the globe can now access a wiki page by typing example.test in the characters of one of the 11 languages or go to idn.icann.org and start creating their own subpages in their own language.
ICANN's first step towards internationalization is a rather cautious one, however, as enabling Unicode characters in site names may also expose users to new forms of phishing attacks, where attackers could use similar looking characters in different alphabets to spoof commercial domains.