So the Canadian government has a rule about bilingualism; all publications must be so. This apparently has extended to domains. For example, The Bank of Canada‘s domain name is www.bank-banque-canada.ca. HRDC‘s is www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca. Neither of these domain names are at all memorable. The reason? by combining the two, it doubles up the domain name. There’s simply no reason. The bank of Canada’s is worse, because it repeats the ‘Canada’ as well – .ca means that it’s canadian, so there’s no need to have canada appear in the domain name. bankofcanada.ca, maybe, as it’s a name, but bank-canada.ca? not terribly meaningful. Also, why not simply publish the english domain name in english publications and the french domain name in french publications? Or separated by a slash? See www.hrdc.gc.ca/www.drhc.gc.ca is just as easy to read I think and each domain name is more meaningful to it’s intended audience.
And perhaps that’s what this comes down to – the government has 2 distinct, easily categoriseable audiences: francophones and anglophones. But rather than targeting each, they muddle the message in an attempt to appeal to both at once.
OK. End of rant. But alongside thousands of other things, this is something that I would change in a jiffy if I were running this place 🙂