Google announced today that it’s adding support for non-Latin characters in email addresses in Gmail. That means that email address names that contain accented characters or those that are written in a script like Chinese can now be both sent and received from
In 2012, an organization called the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) created a new email standard that supports addresses with non-Latin and accented Latin characters (e.g. 武＠メール.グーグル). In order for this standard to become a reality, every email provider and every website that asks you for your email address must adopt it. That’s obviously a tough hill to climb. The technology is there, but someone has to take the first step.
For now it’s just Gmail and, as noted by Google, it will require all email providers to make the change before users with non-latin characters can really expect a seamless experience. Google said that down the road it will even look into letting users create gmail accounts with latin characters. It also plans to roll out support to Calendar soon.
Google has been doing a lot in recent months to beef up language support in Gmail and other products including earlier this month adding support for 13 new languages bringing coverage up to 94% of the world internet population.