Saturday, May 02, 2009

Internet deregulation might be good news

The demand for translation into English could grow exponentially over the coming years, as Icann – the body that runs the internet's domain name system – pushes ahead with plans to liberalise the rules governing the way the net works.

The move would allow domain names to be written in other alphabets, such as Cyrillic, Arabic or Chinese: carving out entire chunks of the internet that could effectively become invisible to English-speaking users without translation.

The move has proven controversial in some quarters, with American officials writing to the organisation in December to question "whether the potential consumer benefits outweigh the potential costs".

Such a move will not encourage a sudden jump away from English, thanks to the language's influence and power – and some technical limitations.

Extract from the Guardian

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