Gmail can now recognize email addresses that “contain accented or non-Latin characters,” Google announced today.
Google explained in a corporate blog post that the new feature, also coming soon to Google Calendar, follows a standard set by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The change could significantly boost the accessibility of Gmail for speakers of languages that do not use the Latin alphabet.
The company patted itself on the back for being the first company to comply with the standard, first created in 2012:
In order for this standard to become a reality, every email provider and every website that asks you for your email address must adopt it. That’s obviously a tough hill to climb. The technology is there, but someone has to take the first step. Today we’re ready to be that someone.
But Google will not yet permit users to create new Gmail accounts with these non-Latin characters. That’s apparently coming soon. For now, Google says, Gmail users can send and “receive emails from people who have these characters in their email addresses.”