View Full Version : Indian Domains - English or Other Languages?

10th January 2009, 04:00 PM
One writers opinion on the future of Indian internet domains. This article was written by the owner of inforum.in (Indian domain forum). I personally think having BOTH the English and Hindi/ Bengla/ Telugu etc IDN version of keywords will be the best way to play the India market. The writer does hold some IDN domains, but closes by saying they are a very long term play in his opinion. To quote him "The growth of the internet in India will eventually depend on the use of local languages".


Indian Domains - English or Other Languages?
January 5, 2009 ·

In India, people speak hundreds of languages. Hindi has the largest number of native speakers, and there are also a large number of people whose native language is Bengali or Telugu. So, what language Indian domains should you invest in?

In the foreseeable future, I believe that English is the answer. English is one of the two co-official languages of India (the other being Hindi). While only 250,000 people in India are native English speakers, about 90 million people speak English - more than in the United Kingdom. And it’s not just any 90 million people, it is generally the best educated and wealthiest people, the professionals, the businessmen and the government workers. These are the people who use the internet, and who buy on the internet. Most government, university and large businesses are run in English, and normally the university and business websites don’t even have local language translations.

Recent developments have confirmed the predominance of English in India. The Law Commission of India has rejected the use of Hindi in India’s courts. They did this on the basis that English is and should be the common language that all lawyers and courts use and that it is important to keep it this way The CEO of Rediff, a major Indian portal, has gone on record as stating that higher education in India, for example, is predominately in English and English is becoming an “aspirational” language in India.

There have been great pushes to use local languages in India. However, despite this, the use of local languages on the Indian web has remained minimal. A recent study showed that there were only 1,249 websites in India that use local languages. As well, although NIXI has been a great proponent of IDNs, to date IDNs have not been released for .in domains and they have no plans to release them in the near future. IDNs are essential to properly use Indian local languages.

From a domainer’s point of view, as after all bills can only be paid banking on what the reality is and not what the reality should be, virtually all of the reported sales of Indian domains are for English terms.

That being said, even native English speakers need to be careful. One thing to keep in mind is that Indian English is somewhat different than both British English and American English. There is also “Hinglish,” an interesting mixture of English and Hindi.

In the long run, all of the above is likely to change - but it will take many, many years. The growth of the internet in India will eventually depend on the use of local languages. IDNs will eventually be permitted in the .in extension. There is certainly nothing wrong with purchasing prime Hindi or Telugu domains, and I have a few in my portfolio. However, it’s important to realize that these domains are in fact a very long term investment.

In the current environment, and the environment over the next few years, India will be using primarily English domain names.

11th January 2009, 03:38 AM
A fair assessment of the potential in the Indian domain market.

I also agree that IDN will be an essential part of the Indian web, but not for a very long time hence I have limited my Indian language IDN to just 4.

Rubber Duck
11th January 2009, 05:21 AM
A fair assessment of the potential in the Indian domain market.

I also agree that IDN will be an essential part of the Indian web, but not for a very long time hence I have limited my Indian language IDN to just 4.

Only if the data he is basing it on is credible.

I am getting Google scores for Hindi that are as big as I was getting for Chinese 4 years ago. The are a hell of a lot more than 1249 sites in Chinese, and I don't find that figure remotely credible for Hindi.

Beside, we keep getting the argument that most Hindi users are irrelevant. So why are they buying the Newspapers. Is it to put their Fish and Chips in?

Rubber Duck
11th January 2009, 06:42 AM
In the United Kingdom, The Sun is the top seller, with around 3.2 million copies distributed daily (late-2004).

In India, The Times of India is the largest English newspaper, with 2.14 million copies daily. According to the 2006 National Readership Study, the Dainik Jagran is the most-read, local-language (Hindi) newspaper, with 21.2 million readers.[17]

In the U.S., USA Today has a daily circulation of approximately 2 million, making it the most widely distributed paper in the country.


That's a lot of Fish and Chips!

Come on guys do you really think all these people are going to convert to English just to go Online?

11th January 2009, 06:47 AM
1.2.1. As per the annual statements received during 2005-06, the number of dailies being published in the country was 2130. Their claimed circulation figure was 8,88,63,048 copies, 12.93% higher than that the previous year. Hindi had 942 dailies claiming a circulation of 7,66,98,490 copies, while 201 English dailies claimed 3,41,06,816 copies. (Chapter 3 Table 3.5)

1.2.2. There were 39 Tri/Biweeklies with a circulation of 5,66,198 copies, compared to 40 with a total circulation of 5,53,873 in 2004-05. (Chapter 3 Table 3.5)

1.2.3. 900 daily newspapers provided information on their working and organization, the analysis of which can be seen in Chapter VI.


Rubber Duck
11th January 2009, 06:49 AM
The National Readership Study 2006 (NRS 2006) in India is the largest survey of its kind in the world, with a sample size of 2,84,373 house-to-house interviews to measure the media exposure and consumer product penetration in both urban and rural India – and of course the estimated readership of publications. The study covers 535 publications of which 230 are dailies and 305 are magazines.

The battle heats up in English & Hindi Dailies arena

There are now two dailies that have captured more than 2 crore (20 million) readers – Dainik Jagran (with 21.2 million) and Dainik Bhaskar (with 21million). The gap between Dainik Jagran & Danik Bhaskar has reduced from 3.8 million readers to 200,000 readers this year.

The Times of India is the most read English Daily with 7.4 mn readers, but The Hindu has taken the second spot with 4.05 mn readers, pushing Hindustan Times, to the third spot with an estimated readership of 3.85 mn. Though Hindustan Times adding 360,000 new readers in Mumbai, it has but lost readership across the Hindi belt.



There is still significant scope for growth, as 359 million people who can read and understand any language do not read any publication. Of this 359 million, 68% read Hindi. It is not just affordability that is a constraint, since 20 million of these literate non-readers belong to the upscale SEC A and B segments.

The Hindi belt has been witness to intense activity from large dailies and is an indicator of the general growth in the vernacular dailies segment. To elaborate, vernacular dailies have grown from 191.0 million readers to 203.6 million while English dailies have stagnated at around 21 million.

12th January 2009, 04:51 AM
SMS in India is 90% + to 99 % non English.....

And the English that is most common is Cricket slang...(grin)...or Stock ticker related etc...

I asked 2 friends in Delhi over Skype, how much of their SMS to family, friends, and co-workers in India only was in Hindi...
they both told me 90%+++.....

English was used for UK /Aussie/ and USA friends...and for
Indian relatives abroad....

Nokia, LG, Samsung, Motorola, and other handsets use IDN compliant browsers on the 2.5 G phones....

Granted.....rich media data plans in India are very oppressive ....this will change....
rapidly IMHO....

My belief/ opinion is the exploding IDN market of India is based on the mobile handset and not on the PC.

12th January 2009, 03:34 PM
My belief/ opinion is the exploding IDN market of India is based on the mobile handset and not on the PC.

An Understatement...:)

12th January 2009, 03:47 PM
Does that mean when IDN.mobi is released we can all expect another GoldRush ?? ;)

12th January 2009, 09:21 PM
Article below was from 2007...India was already nearly 10% of the worldwide total handset traffic in logging onto the internet way back then.

Web surfers via mobiles double in India, grab 4th spot in the world
By Anupama Chandrasekaran - Wed 06 Jun 2007 10:51 PM PST

The number of people entering Cyberspace via their cellphones has more than doubled in India in the past year, making the country home to the fourth largest population—behind the U.K., the U.S. and South Africa—browsing the Internet through mobile handsets, according to a study reported by the PTI. One in every 11 people logging on to the Web across the world through cellphones is an Indian, U.K.-based mobile Web technology company Bango Plc. said in its report.

This year Indians account for 9 percent of the mobile Web users population globally, up from just 4 percent a year earllier.“India, with a population of just over 1.1 billion and lack of an established fixed phone line network, relies on mobile phones to stay in touch,” Bango CEO Ray Anderson said. What’s more, the report forecasts Indian mobile phone usage to exceed European levels within the next few years. “We see that wherever flat-rate mobile data charges are pervasive in a country, then there’s much more web browsing,” Bango CEO Ray Anderson said.


Rubber Duck
13th January 2009, 04:24 AM
In the UK, they want a license to print money.

I refer them to the Bank of England. :D