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The domain name system (DNS) was originally developed using the ASCII character set, employing only Roman characters and a limited number of symbols. With the global growth of the Internet, there have been increasing calls for internationalized domain names (IDNs), particularly support for other character sets in the top level of the DNS. Multilingualism is a very complex issue. While the demand for a truly multilingual DNS is understandable, there are formidable technical and administrative challenges.

Concepts and questions

What are the technical hurdles to a multilingual doman name system?

The following links provide a good overview of the technical history of DNS development, explain the range of challenges faced in making the DNS multilingual, and question whether there may be better alternatives to using other character sets in the DNS itself:

What work is being done to address this problem?

The following links provide a good starting point to the technical and administrative work being done in ICANN and the IETF on multilinguism: