Update: Opening up email to a greater number of characters is a good thing for users, but it's also exciting for spammers. Certain characters - such as ဝ, ૦, ο, and the letter o - look very similar. Too similar, really. So Gmail will now block email addresses attempting to take advantage of this, and it will use the Unicode Consortium's "highly-restricted" specification to do so. Wဝ૦ο!

It may seem to many of us that there are an endless number of email addresses available out there, but if your name contains characters that don't fit somewhere between A-Z, that illusion is shattered pretty quickly. Most of the world's people speak languages that use non-Latin characters, and Google is taking steps to address this. The company announced today that now users can send messages to/receive messages from email addresses containing accented or non-Latin characters.


This is just a first step towards a more inclusive email environment. Gmail still doesn't let people create accounts with non-Latin characters, though Google says that it wants to introduce this ability in the future. The company also intends to soon introduce support in Calendar as well.

The Internet Engineering Task Force created a new email standard with support for non-Latin characters in 2012, but it's up to every email provider and every website to adopt it. Gmail's a major player to get behind the idea, but we still need to see movement from competitors for this to really matter. Hopefully we do.

Source: Google

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • David

    Wow, that's cool. But now, I need to create a new account to get an email address with special characters, or is it now possible to have aliases and/or change the address?

    • Joey Heck

      You can send and receive email FROM special addresses with non latin characters. You cannot have a gmail account with non latin characters at this time. The article above states that Google is working on that for a future release, though I'm sure it would be for new addresses.

      • David

        Oh right. I need to learn to read...

  • bse88


    • Aman Yajurvedi

      A Trasponster? :)

  • remister

    The internet will freeze over, once emojis are allowed in email addresses.

    • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.


      • remister

        colon end parenthesis ex dee colon asterisks @ semi colon end parenthesis .com YES!

      • Sarang Pitale

        Wouldn't such addresses help receive less spam mails !!

      • Sergii Pylypenko

        : and ) symbols are not allowed in domain name after @, and I think are not allowed in the first part before @ as well. It's easy to find Unicode counterparts though.
        So you will actually write

        • Joseph Lampke

          I don't know what you actually wrote because I have an Emoji extension...

      • Austin

        I wonder if someone just got tired of writing RegEx statements at Google...

    • tanjiajun34

      LOL I wonder how will those people write down their email on a paper

  • Jonathan Daggar

    The next time you start asking where your jetpack or flying car is, remember this: it's 2014 and major internet services still can't do extended unicode support.

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    • thartist

      I understood everything except for blackberry... What is it, again?

  • thartist

    if anyone MAILED me to get coffee in the afternoon, I would probably shoot him

    • saf1927

      Haha true lol

    • Jonnyw2k

      Especially if the email came in at quarter to 8 at night!

  • varun

    Oh great. More spam.

  • black

    Interesting. This will make it easier for say chinese ppl to email each other, but "interracial" emails will become difficult/annoying.

    • Thomas’


  • Alexandre Leites

    "A-Za-z0-9.-" will continue to be the allowance for all username/email systems I develop. This kind of info are supposed to be international readable or writeable in all input or output systems.

    • SHeadius

      Interestingly, gmail allows periods but ignores them. My address is firstname.lastname@gmail.com but it actually is also firstnamelastname@gmail.com.

      • Stoffers
      • 1RealityCheck

        Gmail y recognizes e both as the same but beware because other websites don't for ex, my email is first. Last but apparently I signed up for a company website with email firstlast. Whenever I log into my account and send this company an email and then try to reply, they give me an error message because their systems think I'm trying to contact them from a different email address than the one my account is associated with. It becomes a huge pain

    • EowynCarter

      What about people whose language use other characters and would like to PROPERLY write their language ?

      • Serge Cebrian

        yeah you want to properly write in your language, but not everyone can write in your language so it would make dificult for a United Statian to write an Accented a for example ÁáÉéÍíÓóÚú
        and im not even getting to japanese characters yet..

        it will be a massive ammount of copy paste then :P

        [ United Statian (plural United Statians)

        (rare) A citizen or inhabitant of the United States.
        yeah i could have called them NorthAmerican but this was funny

        • EowynCarter

          Of course you can write these..

          Think about it. What would you think if you had to write your name sêrgê because the system don't get the e?
          Feels weird written that way right? That's how some name without accent feel to us. Just wrong.

          • Serge Cebrian

            My last name indeed has an á so I understand . but what I mean is that I usually start writing what I remember from an email address . so if I have a Russian friend that I saved with all Cyrillic letters I won't be able to start writing the name my keyboard is in English so I only write the languages with the same characters easily

            Ohh well I guess I need a friend with characters to actually prove or disprove if.its.really that difficult.

            Either way I will just save an.easy to remember name in my contact address so no biggie hehehe

            But as an example outside gmail I have a friend on facebook that put his name in Greek so I have to go every time to the friend list to look for him as I can't make a search with Greek chars.. And even if I configure the keyboard language I would have a dificult time to find the letter positions, etc.

  • F Young

    So, if I see an email address in some unknown foreign language in a printed English document, how could I send an email to that account using my querty keyboard? I would expect it to be impossible to do, or at least so difficult that no one would bother.

    • Stoffers

      While I understand the world revolves around you and only you matter, there are several magical options available. On phones especially it's quite easy to change the language on your keyboard, you can reply, and you can copy/paste.

      Sorry for disturbing you, almighty ruler of all, please spare me, he whom the world revolves around.

      • F Young

        Well, my problem is shared by hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, of people. And, it you don't know what language the email address is written in, having the option of switching to foreign language keyboards does not help much.

    • Dan Caseley

      I imagine the author to anticipate this, and either know the keyboards of their intended audience will be capable, or provide a QR code / similar on their printed materials.

  • mgamerz

    Maybe it's working on me, but I don't see anything wrong with the posted image (unless you're talking about the chinese/japanese/korean characters).

  • http://mekakiwi.blogspot.com.br/ ED-Zが現れた!

    Ah, this brings back memories! "武" was one of the first Kanji that I learned to draw. Because... Dragon Ball!

  • Serge Cebrian


    stupid chrome doesn't allow to post the emojis....

    i could paste them but

    "🐵" gets sent