CHARSET=Shift_JIS encoded text is garbled when on server...

Posted on 2003-11-30
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Hello all,

I have worked on a bilingual site Japanese/English. All is good as it is at the moment:

However I had to make a few updates, when uploaded to the test server the Japanese text is all garbled and I did not even change a dot on the page (all Japanese pages are garbled now).

When I test the site locally all is just fine. When it is uploaded it's a nightmare.

Likewise, if I download the now ok index page from onto my computer it will show garbled if tested locally.

I've tried different transfer modes with no success. This really baffles me...

Any wise ideas are very much welcome :-)

Thank you,

:: doris
Question by:dkyburz
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

ID: 9848186
I had a similar problem a few weeks ago, although our solutions may be different.

Your japanese version correctly details the CHARSET property, but I notice you link to a stylesheet in the code.  The stylesheet forces the browser to render text in Verdana, but you will be aware that Verdana does not support Japanese characters.
Instead, use two different stylesheets, one for the english version and one for the japanese.  In the japanese version, do not specify a font, but let the browser chose automatically.  It should pick out an adequate font and render the page correctly.

Author Comment

ID: 9848543
Hello Rouchie,

Thank you for having a look at my problem. I do have two different style sheets for the Japanese and the English pages, and I tried your suggestion out. With no success.

See here:
present site:
updated page:

The odd thing is that I did not change anything for this particular page. One would think it should look the same, no? Also, when testing locally it's just perfect. So I am wondering whether the whole thing gets garbled in the ftp process... If I download the original file it becomes garbled too. So I have an ok page on my desktop that shows perfect but when uploaded it's all wrong; and I have an ok page on the server that shows perfect but when downloaded it's all wrong.

Still terribly baffled.... :-)

:: doris
LVL 25

Expert Comment

ID: 9853772
Both page versions display okay in my browser, although the Japanese characters seem to be different for each.  After running it through a translator, it seems that the new_revision version does not make sense.  It seems that your readers may be okay with the version you originally thought was corrupt.

What editor are you using to edit your pages?  Notepad is especially unsuitable for inputting of foreign characters.
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LVL 25

Accepted Solution

Rouchie earned 250 total points
ID: 9854892
You should make sure that you are using a text editor with multilingual support, and that you are saving your files as being UTF-8 Encoded.  This option usually appears in the software's Save As menu.

This site is an awesome reference for creating multilingual web sites.  I found it this morning by accident ;-)
The specific page details the best HTML editors to achieve this, also Dreamweaver MX and 2004 seem to be missing off the list.


Author Comment

ID: 9862231

Thanks to your message I finally remembered that I have done the pages in BBEdit the first time around and not in Dreamweaver. Super! Great! I've uploaded from within BBEdit and all is fine.

Thanks a bunch!

:: doris

ps. I have bookmarked the link above. Very good!
LVL 25

Expert Comment

ID: 9863033
Glad you got it sorted!  Interesting how the different software titles work...

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