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Punycode to Unicode Converter in simple PHP

Today I needed a way to simply convert Punycode internationalized domain names to Unicode for proper display in UTF-8. I was hoping for some easy iconv magic but no such luck, PHP can’t even do part of it directly.

Googling for a bit I was only able to find one existing class that did this in pure PHP but it was well over 100k in size which was disturbing for my simple needs.

So I whittled it down to 50 lines or so and made some tweaks: (download)

It can now handle in one function “multi-part” domains that have punycode in the sub-domain, domain and/or TLD.

ie. all the examples here work:

so xn--r8jz45g.xn--zckzah is properly converted to 例え.テスト

it also works with mixed domains, ie.

(you can only pass it the host part of the url, do not pass it the full URL with http or slashes or it will fail – use PHP’s parse_url to get just the host)

Note this does not do any sanitizing or other thorough checks or fixes – if you need that functionality (ie. raw user input from unknown sources) you’ll probably need the original full class over here:

10 responses

  1. UTF-8 error, I thank you for giving information.

    August 31, 2010 at 10:11 pm

  2. thanks infonya..

    February 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm

  3. This functionality was included in PHP 5.3, see:
    So this functionality is very useful for those in hosted environments who can’t upgrade to PHP 5.2

    May 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm

  4. warper

    Only wanted to thank you for this small and effective piece of code 🙂

    It saves me to install all that 100k of scripts and code.


    May 15, 2011 at 4:54 pm

  5. Hi!
    It would be great if you write UTF8 to Punycode function 🙂

    July 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm

  6. thanx for this method of conversion

    January 19, 2013 at 2:51 am

  7. I’ve loved reading each word. Any individual who believes that writing is a lost art, ought to follow
    this blog.

    September 9, 2013 at 5:28 am

  8. To quote Benjamin Franklin: being ignorant isn’t to be ashamed of.

    Being unwilling to learn is. I wish to take this opportunity and thank you for enabling me to learn.

    September 9, 2013 at 5:05 pm

  9. I adore this specific blog. It is like a secret place where I always come across something that interests me.

    September 9, 2013 at 5:07 pm

  10. dev

    big thanks!

    February 22, 2015 at 4:19 am

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