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Nowadays, the internet with its addresses (usually domain names) is arguably a part of language. Thus the domain names’ extensions (TLDs) are obviously, too.

In French language, TLDs such as .fr, .ca, .cd, .com, .net, .org and .eu are common and well known. [1] Others, such as .mobi, .gw or .ax, are rarely seen and may even feel unnatural in the French language or to French people. [2] Some are also harder to pronounce than others, or hard to remember because the combinations of letters are less common in French.

But there are certainly TLDs in between those extremes, which are not extremely common, but still somewhat frequently used so that they are at least known by “digital natives” or technology enthusiasts speaking French.

Since good domain names are scarce and fiercely contested, lots of entrepreneurs, hobbyists, businesses and enthusiasts love to fall back on alternative TLDs which are less contested or have just been introduced more recently.

Some young technology companies, especially those focused on developers, use the .io TLD, for example. But that TLD is probably still unknown or unfamiliar to many. How does it feel, as part of the French language, if you can say so?

Other relatively common TLDs include:

  • .me – Easy to pronounce and it’s a known word?
  • .la – Easy to pronounce, it’s a common word and it’s a great fit with feminine nouns that go before it?
  • .cc – If anything, it’s an abbreviation known from email, the “code civil” and the “courant continu”, and it’s easy to pronounce, at least?
  • .co – Sometimes used as a prefix, similar to .com, but harder to pronounce?

How do you feel about these? Have some of them surfaced in French language? Do some feel more natural than others? Do you know about other somewhat common TLDs?

[1] https://www.afnic.fr/en/resources/publications/french-domain-name-industry-report/2012-issue/34-1-of-domain-names-registered-in-france-use-the-fr-tld-1.html

[2] http://www.seobythesea.com/2006/01/googles-most-popular-and-least-popular-top-level-domains/

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I think the answer comes quite naturally:

  • you have the common TLDs, like .fr, .com, .org that are generally well-known as you can see them in various places.

  • the TLDs refering to french places (full name: .paris, or abbreviated: .bzh ...), words (.capital, .credit, .boutique)

  • more rarely those referencing to transparent words (from english to french): .deals, .love, .shopping, .discount, .design ... but less natural, depending on the population

  • the bonus one is when you manage to create a word containing the extension's letters, like lava.bo, ran.do, 'anti.be', or sentence if you like to play j-aime-la.pizza, maybe this solution is harder to remember

(tested here: https://shop.gandi.net/fr/domain/suggest?search=test)

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