Indian Domains – English or Other Languages?

Indian Domains – English or Other Languages?

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.



Nice write up. I would like to mention that some names like, despite being Hindi words, are so commonly used words that they easily stick to the mind and so probably are good domains to own. On the contrary, a Telugu or Marathi name might have appeal to a limited region and might very well resonate with them, and so a good choice for a regional site.

I think the bottom line, depending on your market you would have to choose the language and the domain name. Local could still win in the long term if it is a niche market. Comments?

@Madhav – yes, that’s what I mean by Hinglish. There are a lot of non-English words that are regularly used in English. If a term is used a lot, it’s probably a valuable domain.

Just don’t say that to the poor guy Blast from Boston.
He works as a sales assistant in the rental office and puts every rupee into Hindi IDNs. He tells his family and his idn buddies that he goes to Harvard. Boy, it will be a big disappointment

yes, that’s what I mean by Hinglish. There are a lot of non-English words that are regularly used in English. If a term is used a lot, it’s probably a valuable domain.

Secondind it.,,…. had lifted the barrier of languages from www, no need to be aware of English for surfing websites by” Angle Theory ” no need to mention the name of any website in address bar WEBSITES CAN TAKE HUGE PROFIT FROM IT, just use simple shortcuts angles like /\ , ( , ) ,\/ , , ?, ?, Read

No need to remember the name of any website, Type in the address bar, three buttons twice, which are together, on keyboard in shape or triangle e.g. ggyyhh Ctrl+Enter or Press Ctrl & Enter keys together after [A] shape. Shortcuts can be used from whole keyboard. After this you will see a home page which can be used to surf internet by even persons not knowing English language.

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