Gmail says it wants to make email more global, and today it's taking a first step: Gmail now recognizes email addresses containing accented or non-Latin characters. You can't create accounts with those same characters yet — Google says it's working to get there — but Gmail users can now send to and receive emails from these addresses without issue. Google's approach, which will also be implemented in Google Calendar soon, is based on an email standard created by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in 2012.
An example of the email addresses now supported by Gmail.
But it's going to take way more momentum and work involving a long list of companies before accented and non-Latin email addresses become common across the web. "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," said software engineer Pedro Chaparro Monferrer in a blog post. "That’s obviously a tough hill to climb. The technology is there, but someone needs to take the first step." Google says it's ready to be that someone, and today is the company's first example of proving it. "Language should never be a barrier when it comes to connecting with others and with this step forward, truly global email is now even closer to becoming a reality," Monferrer said.