My real Romanian name is: Ionică Bizău. You can see ă letter that is very close to a (in both: writing and pronouncing).

After setting my username as Ionică Bizău the link to my profile became:


I know that if I write


I am redirected to my profile, but this confuses me every time I go to my profile seeing ionic-bizu in the link...

I would suggest to remove this or to replace the diacritics with normal letters.

e.g. For Romanian diacritics:

| ă   | a  |
| â   | a  |
| î   | i  |
| ș   | s  |
| ț   | t  |

Update: If keeping the url containing special characters is ok, it's very good. My problem is that the letters from my name are removed.


I just found that ë is replaced with e in the profile url. See Pëkka's profile. Its url is:


                                     ^--- Do you sëë? :-)

Temp solution

I finally decided to use ã character that is very close to ă (but not the same!). My SO profile url looks fine: https://stackoverflow.com/users/1420197/ionica-bizau

On the other profiles I still keep the old username, so I still want this to be fixed!

  • 6
    Wikipedia keeps actual diacritics in the URL without apparent problem.
    – TRiG
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 16:09
  • 5
    This varies greatly between languages, btw. Norwegian å is pronounced 'o' in other languages, for example, and the Norwegians replace it with aa when limited to ASCII characters. This is not always a straightforward transformation. Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 16:09
  • @TRiGisTimothyRichardGreen That's a good point. If that's possible it would be great. My problem is that letters from my name are removed. Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 16:10
  • 1
    The name part of your URL is just a courtesy, a human-readable addition. The number part before it is what counts. You are perfectly free to link to stackoverflow.com/users/1420197/ionica-bizau anywhere else, as you already discovered. Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 16:10
  • 2
    @MartijnPieters I know that, but in my case it becomes a human-nonreadable addition because I see ionic-bizu every time when I go to my profile! Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 16:13
  • 2
    Sure, I can see your point too; and mapping non-ASCII characters to ASCII characters based on decomposition is quite straightforward (å can also be expressed as the composition of a and the ` ̊` COMBINING RING ABOVE codepoint U+030A, and any good unicode data library will give you access to the composed form and create a simple algorithm to replace å with a. It all gets a little more complicated when it comes to alphabets not based on the western character set, of course. Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 16:22
  • 1
    @MartijnPieters Yes... Keeping them would be better - if possible. Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 16:24
  • 1
    In German, the correct transliteration of ü is ue; in Spanish, it is likely u. I'm sure there are more such localized distinctions
    – Pekka
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 16:33
  • This is just some missing characters in the translation. See Jeff's answer in Non US-ASCII characters dropped from full (profile) URL.
    – Arjan
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 17:00
  • @Arjan Good point! ã is replaced, but ă not. Hope it will be fixed soon. Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 17:03
  • I've retagged as bug, and reposted my comment to make it more visible.
    – Arjan
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 17:06
  • But why wouldn't you want to be ionic? Sounds pretty cool to me. Commented May 14, 2014 at 1:30

3 Answers 3


We've had this a while for our "sites about languages", but we have now enabled it accross the board for all sites. Your name should now show correctly in your browser url, as should questions. For example:


which should display visibly as:


Note that we have not enabled non-ASCII tags for all sites at the same time - these are controlled separately.

  • 1
    Wow, thank you so much. It works fine! Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 12:43
  • The issue is still present on http://stackexchange.com/ and http://data.stackexchange.com/. Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 8:50
  • @IonicăBizău try SE.com again; I haven't looked at data.SE yet - that is a very different codebase Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 10:06
  • @IonicăBizău and I didn't accidentally cause an infinite redirect loop for a few minutes there... ahem Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 10:15

As TRiG mentions in the comments, the name could be retained completely using percent encoding:


It's a valid URL, and modern browsers will display the decoded version as a courtesy. (Using the Unicode characters themselves would result in an invalid URL.)

Seeing as the numerical ID is used to look up the record, and the real name is there for human eyes only, this shouldn't be a huge problem.

It would be more internationally friendly. A transition process could start changing the profile URL the next time the name is changed (for example).

  • Why percent encoding? Why not the character? Please see this site: http://www.scriuromânește.net/ Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 16:30
  • 2
    @IonicăBizău the actual characters are never valid in URLs. Browsers may accept them and automatically percent encode them but it doesn't mean it's a valid practice.
    – Pekka
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 16:32
  • But... Just asking: why your ë from username is replaced with e? :-) http://.../138112/pekka Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 16:34
  • 1
    @Ionica hah, good point! I assume they have transliterations in place for some characters. In that case they really should add the Romanian ones (although simply showing all non-Latin characters would of course be the best option)
    – Pekka
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 16:36
  • YES! :-) I wait for their answer. Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 16:37
  • 1
    But would you prefer /p%3Fkka over /pekka...? My Chrome does not show a ë when hovering such link.
    – Arjan
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 17:08
  • @Arjan but it will in the address bar. It's arguably much fairer to anyone not using Latin script.
    – Pekka
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 17:14
  • When typing (pasting) a percent-encoded URL in the URL bar, it stays encoded. So, encoding in <a href=...> would be fine (like here, with a fake id to make SE not rewrite it), but sharing it otherwise might show the percent encoding. (Like when copying and pasting into an email?) I don't know what I like better...
    – Arjan
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 17:28
  • (Hmmm, it doesn't even work in <a href=...> -- I'm sure it once did...? Or is that Markdown messing up? No, it's a proper <a href="http://meta.stackoverflow.com/users/-999/p%3Fkka">here</a> in my comment above.)
    – Arjan
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 17:29
  • 1
    @Arjan you need to use percent-Encoded UTF-8 characters. Example: P%C3%ABkka
    – Pekka
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 17:33
  • Ah, of course. And now hovering looks fine too :-)
    – Arjan
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 17:36
  • Downvoted for looking ugly. No, not you. Even though you do wear a stallman beard. But slugs in URLs should usually contain just ASCII, and percent-encoded chars in there do look horrible. And when pasting the link in a place where URLs are linkified automatically chances are good non-ascii breaks it. I've seen too many broken links in email clients because of things like that... Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 17:43
  • 1
    @Thief but how do you transliterate 蒋中正?
    – Pekka
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 18:08
  • 1
    @ThiefMaster yes, there are transliterations for foreign alphabets, but they're not trivial to implement, there are different transliteration systems for the same language, and they of course all assume that the West with its latin alphabet is the center of the world around which everyone else is supposed to revolve. They're not a good permanent solution for sites that serve a global audience, especially when a workable solution already exists.
    – Pekka
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 18:45
  • 4
    @Pëkka The best solution is not to destroy the data, but to retain it. Percent-escaping the individual UTF-8–encoded bytes is the next best thing to trivial. That said, it is difficult to associate random squiggles like 🀄 with a particular user if you do not know what that “means”.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 22:16

This is already done, but apparently not all characters are covered yet in the translation.

See Jeff's answer in Non US-ASCII characters dropped from full (profile) URL.

  • +1, I left a comment there. Hope to be fixed soon. Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 17:06
  • 1
    Jeff no longer works at SE, so leaving a comment for him might not help, @Ionică...
    – Arjan
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 17:09
  • 1
    Anyway, they will see this question. Thank you for edit! Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 17:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .