Alphabetical order in greek

Posted on 2005-05-14
Last Modified: 2013-12-12

I have a query that fetches all data from a table in alphabetical order using the "...order by col_name asc..." command. The problem is that the data in this column is not in english but in greek and they are not coming in the right order. Any idea?
Question by:MZ_24976
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    You should set your server, database or table to use a Greek character set, as well as a Greek collation.

    The character set determines how the characters are stored in the database (and WHICH characters can be stored) - collations determine how the characters are compared. If you use a Greek collation (found under a Greek character set, or perhaps the Unicode character set), your ORDER BY clauses will work as you want them to do. In any case, check your database server's manual.

    If you do not have administrative access to your database server, you could let PHP handle locales:

    setlocale(LC_ALL, "ell"); /* "ell" might not be the proper locale name... "greek"? "gre"? "el_gre"? */

    Now strcoll() will work just like strcmp(), only using the Greek locale. something like:

    uasort(array_of_strings_in_Greek, "strcoll");

    will do, perhaps?

    Author Comment

    I tried this in phpmyadmin
    ALTER DATABASE mydb COLLATE greek_general_ci

    but I took an error:
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax.  Check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near 'DATABASE mydb COLLATE greek_general_ci' at line 1

    I tried also this in my php file, but I took again an error:
    SELECT * FROM mydb ORDER BY a COLLATE greek_general_ci;
    LVL 7

    Accepted Solution

    I believe the syntax for MySQL is ALTER DATABASE <name> CHARACTER SET <charset> COLLATE <collate>.

    Strangely enough, I couldn't find "ALTER DATABASE" in the MySQL manual, but you could always use ALTER TABLE on individual tables...

    Collations are subsets of character sets, so you must specify a character set while specifying a collation.
    LVL 1

    Assisted Solution

    I believe that in MySQL, unlike Access and MS SQL, the collation is set to the column not the database or table. The following link may help you set the correct collation to the columns.

    Its easiest if you set the collation when you create the database. It is difficult to change the collation after the fact unless you have admin access to the database.

    In MyPHPadmin i would suggest using the dropdown for the collation instead of creating your own SQL statement, as the "alter database" may only work if you have admin access and you can "flush logs" to clear out any unwanted entries. In this case the columns would "inherit" the collation from the table.  
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days,so it is now classified as abandoned..
    I will leave the following recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area:
    [Points Split {aib_42} and {douglasmbeck}]

    Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.

    Kshitij Ahuja
    EE Cleanup Volunteer

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