The internet became truly multilingual yesterday, as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), announced the release of four new generic top-level domains (gTLDs). gTLDs are internet domain names with language-specific scripts and the four new suffixes represent some of the world’s most widely spoken languages. Their selection for release by the ICANN was a strategic decision.
After Latin script, Chinese is the second most widely used alphabet with approx. 1340 million users, Arabic holds the number three position with 380 million users, and Cyrillic is number five used by approx. 250 million people. The four domain names released yesterday are:
游戏 (game) – Chinese
شبكة (web) – Arabic
Онлайн (online) – Cyrillic
Сайт (site) – Cyrillic
The president of ICANN’s Generic Domains Division, Akram Atallah indicated this was just the start of a, “global society” coming together. The purpose of The New Generic Top Level Domain Program is to create a, “globally-inclusive Internet”, improving ecommerce and internet globalisation.
Ripples will be felt in the localization industry with increased demand for real-time translation of user generated content (UGC). Translation technologies are constantly being developed, adopted to markets and fine-tuned. A leading example of this in the development of Machine Translation and these improvements are best seen in the quality assessment (QA) of Machine Translation.
Machine Translation quality has been subjected to scrutiny for decades. This is also changing. Commercial use of Machine Translation is growing, especially in certain industries. Computational capabilities and the availability of vast amounts of multi and monolingual training data have played a significant role in the adoption rate of Machine Translation in both the public and private sectors.
Next week, KantanMT, will release a technology, which addresses the challenge of Machine Translation quality estimation (QE). KantanAnalytics is a revolutionary product that carries out quality analysis at segment level.
Increased demand for real-time high quality translated content will be seen in the near future as internationalised domain names (IDNs) bring people and communities together. This is one of the first steps in increasing the current number of 22 English language dominated domain names to a further 1,400 new multilingual names.
IDNs are domain names registered in non-Latin scripts or ASCII characters, like Chinese. IDNs are already available as second-level domains and country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) tied to specific countries. For example, In Ireland a ccTLD will end in “.ie”. These are different from gTLDs, which belong to a core group of restricted domain names such as .com, .net and .org.