I live in Groningen, in the north east of the Netherlands. West of us is the province of Friesland, their local language has an official status. The Frisians are proud people who take the Frisian language very serious. Last weekend Dutch newspapers had a small story on the Frisians and the internet.
The Frisian name for Friesland is Fryslân. So the oficial internet domain would be www.Fryslân.nl but as that doesn’t fit the domain naming standards it has become www.Fryslan.nl. The news was that the Frisians were deeply insulted for their name being “mutilated”. To the east of us they speak German, the German language is also very rich in “strange” characters. Imagine www.spaß.de ? And what about France or Greece ? www.ellas.gr ? I could go on to Russian, Arabic, Persian, Hindi, Tamil, etc. But I’ll stop here, to get this done took me quite some fiddling with the html of this post and I’m sure these domain names will allready look quite strange in quite a browser.
I hope to have made my point. Local culture enriches life but if you want to look outside you have to make a comprise.