The internet regulator has approved plans to allow non-Latin-script web addresses, in a move that is set to transform the online world.
The board of Icann voted at its annual meeting in Seoul to allow domain names in Arabic, Chinese and other scripts.
More than half of the 1.6 billion people who use the internet speak languages with non-Latin scripts.
It is being described as the biggest change to the way the internet works since it was created 40 years ago.
The first Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) could be in use next year.
Plans for IDNs were first approved at a meeting in June 2008, but testing of the system has been going on for two years.
The move paves the way for the internet’s Domain Name System (DNS) to be changed so it can recognise and translate non-Latin characters.