2019 saw the launch of the long-awaited .ευ in Greek script, creating a full complement of IDN supporting all 24 official languages of the European Union in their native scripts. Registrations of IDNs showed an upturn towards the end of 2019, coinciding with the launch of .ευ in November 2019.
2019 closed out with just over 39,000 IDNs across the three TLDs operated by EURid, .eu, .ею and .ευ, equivalent to the number of IDNs in December 2018. The IDNs operated by EURid are 88% Latin script, 8% Greek script and 5% Cyrillic script. The distribution reflects that the majority of official languages in the European Union use Latin script.
Latin script IDNs show the highest level of active use of the three supported scripts (76%), with 40% of IDNs having active web content and a further 36% redirecting to another site. Cyrillic script IDNs under the .ею TLD have active usage of 21% (of which 9% are redirects). The most recently launched namespace, the .ευ TLD, have an active usage rate of 11% (of which 6% are redirects).
The .eu IDNS support a wide array of European languages. Languages are closely aligned with the script of IDN, and this is a consistent theme throughout our study. Latin script .eu IDNs support websites in German (52%), English, Czech, Polish, Swedish, French, and Estonian; 49% of the websites associated with Greek script .ευ IDNs are in Greek language; and 51% of the websites associated with Cyrillic script .ею IDNs are in Bulgarian (51%).
As our methodology explains, we remove low quality, suspected parking sites from our data sample before undertaking the language analysis. Consistent in our findings for a CENTR study in 2019, English language is more likely to be associated with low quality content. Once parking pages are removed from the .eu, .ею and .ευ IDN sample, the prevalence of English language drops from 36% (includes parking sites) to 14% (after parking sites have been eliminated).
Emily Taylor is the CEO of Oxford Information Labs. She is an Associate Fellow of Chatham House and is the Editor of the Journal of Cyber Policy and co-founder of ICANN accredited registrar, Oxford Information Labs.
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