International Domain Names

I was helping to set up a domain for a friend the other day and I wondered whether they would like a domain in Cyrillics. Led to the question was that even possible.

I try to be aware and present but things pass me by sometimes. Particularly because I don’t really watch television. I have already posted about Cyrillics not being supported in some visual basic editors well turns out Cyrillics were not supported for URLs until 6th of May 2010.

It would be interesting to see the take up of Cyrillic URLs I note that the Cyrillic domain of Yandex url яндекс.рф re-directs to a latin version

One interesting url is the Russian President

Some quick research has revealed that DNS convention is old (no real surprise there) and only supports the 26 Latin characters A through Z numbers and the dash. When a non-latin based URL is placed in the address line the alphabet is re-encoded to a system called Punycode which is a way of representing a domain name with a non-DNS character set within the DNS character set. These domains are called International Domain Names (IDNs) If you wish to display IDNs properly within the address bar you need to go to Chrome settings and select the appropriate language relating to the character set of the IDN the url should appear correct otherwise you get a strange punycode translation that might be mistaken some weird non-base ten numerate system.

Doubtless Yandex did not consider this attractive as many peoples first reaction to that kind of URL would be to think that they had been re-directed to a dodgy website.

An example application for use learning Русский


I quite often put together various databases / applications to help me with my side projects. This is a good example. In an effort to help me remember my Russian verbs I put together a small database to assist in learning and remembering verbs.

One table consisting of

Memory Number
Russian Imperfecive Form
Russian Perfective Form
English Translation
Conjugation Type
Conjugation Class
Memory Aid
Page in Book

Works nicely in conjunction with the code that alters the keyboard mapping when going between cells (follow LINK for details). I am entering the list of verbs based on the popularity of use as listed here.

And I have field (Page in Book) listed so that I can relate back to my personal reference manual.

“The big silver book of Russian verbs 555 fully conjugated verbs in all Tenses” by Jack Franke – McGraw Hill – 2 nd edition

Here’s an image of the simple form that I put together only took half an hour. I use a left click AZ sorting right click ZA sorting on columns much like applications such as Outlook and ITunes the difference is my sorting tends to be a bit more intelligent in that I will generally sort on multiple columns. EG if I have a sort on a name field first name for example I will make the surname the secondary sort. I personally really dislike the double click as an event I think it is highly imprecise. The memory aid is some tricks I took from a Tony Buzan book. Future development will be ability to print out list and a further child table that will allow recording of related conjugations and yes the example screen shot shows that I still need to input some more information.


VBA Function to allow alteration of Key Mapping for Multi-lingual support

Proviso : bear in mind that different Windows operating system versions have different support for languages – with Windows 7 you require ultimate version of the OS and then you have to ensure that the required language pack is installed – happy to say that Win 8 has language support as standard although you will need to specifically request certain regional input options within the settings. Windows 10 is similar, language support is free although it is likely you will have to specifically configure languages if there is more than one. My environment when I first solved this was Windows 7 ultimate.

So the problem – You are multi-lingual (or trying to be) and you regurlaly need to change mapping of your keyboard between alphabets (you can also touch type in both alphabets). You can do it manually everytime you need to change but it’s a pain, you have a database with fields some of which are in one language the others of which are in another language. You would like to alter keyboard mapping to specific languages on entering particular fields but how do you do it?

The following uses the Windows API to change the keyboard language globally. This can be done through VBA in MS Access no problem remembering the provisio that your OS must support your chosen language.

Firstly place the following in a module (note no end function required)

Public Declare Function ActivateKeyboardLayout Lib "user32.dll" (ByVal myLanguage As Long, Flag As Boolean) As Long 'define your desired keyboardlanguage

Then you can call the function from any form event.
Eg on field GotFocus and LostFocus

'1049 Russian keyboard language layout
'2057 English(United Kingdom)keyboard language layout
'1033 English (United States) keyboard language layout

Private Sub A_GotFocus()
Call ActivateKeyboardLayout(1049, 0)
End Sub

Private Sub A_LostFocus()
Call ActivateKeyboardLayout(2057, 0)
End Sub

You can find the LCID decimal codes here
Microsoft Windows Location Identifier Codes LCID