We know the internet as this global phenomenon with no boundaries, but we would be short-sighted if we thought nothing truly stands between us and other people across the world. Though translators and other services facilitate communication, the internet is simply not yet seen as a completely global tool.
Google is aiming to shorten the distance between cultures by adding better character support to Gmail. Starting today, the world’s most popular e-mail service will support non-latin characters, as well as accented latin letters. This means Gmail users can now receive and send emails to those who do not stick to the usual latin vocabulary, which does include most of the world.
Google quotes that over half of the world has a native tongue that includes non-latin and accented characters. Does this mean the internet has its own alphabet, which caters to a minority? In order to truly make Gmail global and break those online borders, we need to support emails with words like José, or those Asian characters that are more common than some of us may think.
These changes will be applied to Gmail as of today, but it only applies for sending and receiving emails. Calendar support will be “coming shortly”. In addition, Google promises they are working on supporting the creation of Gmail accounts with these non-latin or accented characters.