RACE encoding

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RACE encoding is a method for encoding foreign languages that use non-English characters (Chinese, Japanese, etc.) in ASCII characters for storage in domain name system servers.[1] All names without non-English characters are unchanged. RACE codes are made up of digits, letters and dashes.[2]

RACE encoding is part of the larger scheme of the Universal Character Set specifically the ISO/IEC 10646. The assignment of characters also coincides with Unicode.[1]

Today, it is mostly abandoned in favor of punycode.


RACE is an acronym for its main purpose.

  • R stands for Row-based
  • A for ASCII
  • C for Compatible
  • E Encoding


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