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SQL Collation with support for Japanese

Posted on 2008-10-16
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hello, I have an SQL Server 2008 database using SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS right now. It seems that Japanese text shows up as question marks...so I was going to change it to Japanese_CI_AS or Japanese_Unicode_CI_AS, but I'm not sure what the differences are, or if these are even the ones I should choose. It's mostly going to be filled with Latin-based text, but there are also some fields that should accept Japanese.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks~
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Question by:YoungBonzi
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12 Comments
 
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:James Murrell
ID: 22735394
we had this a will ago and the then DBA used http://developer.mimer.com/collations/index.tml
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LVL 8

Author Comment

by:YoungBonzi
ID: 22735427
Thank you for the option, but I want to stick with Microsoft technology.
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LVL 51

Accepted Solution

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Mark Wills earned 125 total points
ID: 22739253
Well, unicode is multi-byte and needed for "special" characters. So you will want to change to a unicode basis. That also means making sure datatypes are unicode as well - e.g. instead of varchar, it then becomes nvarchar.

There is some reasonable documentation about "international considerations [SQL Server]" in books on-line and highly recommend you research that before you change anything.
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LVL 51

Expert Comment

by:Mark Wills
ID: 22739297
Sorry, might have given the wrong impression there... Have been a bit too brief with some of my answers lately...

The database collation is not as important as the datatype being unicode and then making sure it "knows" it is dealing with unicode.

For example... Try this quick example :
create table tbl_japanese_example_1 (place nvarchar(200))
 
insert tbl_japanese_example_1 values ('ۇ osaka')
 
select * from tbl_japanese_example_1
 
 
create table tbl_japanese_example_2 (place nvarchar(200))
 
insert tbl_japanese_example_2 values (N'ۇ osaka')
 
select * from tbl_japanese_example_2

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LVL 51

Expert Comment

by:Mark Wills
ID: 22739315
Guess what - this website is not unicode !
Japanese-Test.zip
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LVL 8

Author Comment

by:YoungBonzi
ID: 22763962
Sorry, I haven't been getting any email notifications so I never bothered checking back. Thank you for the solution mark wills, that's good to know about the datatypes.

What I wound up doing was, in Management Studio, changing the collation on individual datatypes that could possible receive Japanese to the Japanese_Unicode collation (I was unaware this could be done). I noticed that text indeed becomes ntext, and varchar becomes nvarchar. Like you recommend.

I will probably just leave things as they are, because it's working fine...but are you in fact saying that I don't have to change the collation and just change the datatype?
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LVL 51

Expert Comment

by:Mark Wills
ID: 22764022
Yes, the collation will change things like sort sequences and such like, and might want to consider the most appropriate collation, but the secrete to handling those wonderful character sets is in being unicode enabled.
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LVL 51

Expert Comment

by:Mark Wills
ID: 22764030
Oh, and that attachment a couple of postings back does show the database (latin) being able to correctly render Kanji becuase they are unicode data types.
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LVL 8

Author Closing Comment

by:YoungBonzi
ID: 31506910
Ahhhhhh...thank you, I wish I'd read your reply earlier.
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LVL 51

Expert Comment

by:Mark Wills
ID: 22764042
Except the top one should have been just varchar and the second one nvarchar - sorry about that.
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LVL 8

Author Comment

by:YoungBonzi
ID: 22764043
Yep, the unicode is preserved. I figured that's what you were showing me...I played it out in my head because I didn't want to execute it on my DB. Still a bit skittish about playing around with it.

Thanks again~
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LVL 51

Expert Comment

by:Mark Wills
ID: 22764062
Yep, you got it... and thank you too...
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