I'm thinking of getting a non-ASCII Internationalized Domain Name (e.g. thé.com). However my current domain registrar doesn't do IDNs. Their web form reports an invalid domain name when I try to enter it, and they claim they don't support it. Could I just register the puny code (in this case xn--th-cja.com) with the registrar? Or do I need to go to a special IDN 'aware' domain registrar?

2 Answers 2


When you type an IDN for a non-IDN-supported TLD, FireFox goes and converts it into punycode instantly. Try it yourself: http://español.com/ 1 - you'll see it takes you to a parked domain.

This indicates that yes, you can register the punycode against the registrar and it will work, but perhaps not as you intended.

1SE's markup doesn't detect IDN urls, so you'll have to just copy/paste.

  • Yes, that's what I thought. However do you have an experience doing that? What do you mean "work, but not as you intended"? Commented Dec 10, 2010 at 9:48
  • 1
    @Rory - you can register the punycode, and it will work if you go to the punycode formatted address. However if you type the IDN version of your domain name, it will "redirect" to the punycode version, so you won't really have an IDN. More like a pseudo-IDN. Commented Dec 10, 2010 at 22:57
  • That behavior is decided by the browser, and AFAIK it's the same for all IDNs regardless of the registrar's awareness of punycode (or lack thereof). Now, more than a decade later, most browsers (I think) display the unicode in the URL bar but give you punycode if you copy it, presumably for more universal support wherever it gets pasted.
    – NeatNit
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 15:50

Farseeker please don't comment if you have no clue what you're talking about.. Check out some thai keywords on google.co.th .. Thai IDN's are already showing up on the first few pages of results... Unicode not Punycode.

  • First off, answers are for answers to the questions only. Farseeker wasn't commenting; he actually answered the question. And what exactly does your comment have to do with Farseeker's answer? Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 7:19

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