The Gmail logo is pictured on the top of a Gmail.com welcome

Since the beginning of time -- or at least since email was invented -- most email services have required the use of non-accented characters from the Latin alphabet for each individual's address. It's inconvenient for those who don't natively use that alphabet, which means that more than half of the world's population have been frustrated. Here comes Google to the rescue: Gmail (and soon to be Calendar, we're told) now recognizes email addresses that have accented characters or use non-Latin alphabets, so you'll be able to send and receive correspondence to these types of addresses as much as you want, and soon Gmail will let you create non-Latin accounts to call your own.

It's all thanks to an email standard established by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) two years ago. Now it's simply up to each individual email service to officially support that standard. Gmail isn't the first email service to give it a shot. A provider in Taiwan is currently conducting a public trial, and Chinese email addresses began surfacing as early as 2003. But with the standard now set, we'll likely start seeing more providers follow Google's footsteps.

[Image credit: Getty Images, Google]

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