Special chars in textarea fields --> MySQL

I have a text area field that is inserted into a MySQL db field.
For characters like (Microsoft) quotes, and diacritical vowels, the result that gets inserted (and thus displayed when the record is retrieved on the web site), is translated into other characters.

For instance,  apostrophe as in   member's
gets captured as ʉ۪
(not sure that will display here:  three characters      a   epsilon   trademark    )

what is the correct strategy along the way to capture correctly or convert appropriately the common  special characters?
Do i need to fabricate a translation table that is applied prior to db INSERTion?

thanks
willsherwoodAsked:
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Steve BinkConnect With a Mentor Commented:
This has a lot to do with your character set.

First, where is the data coming from?  If it is coming from a web page, you might be receiving ISO-8859-1 (Western/US Latin).  If it is coming from another application, that application will either set its own character set, or use the default from the OS.  

Second, what character set is your server, database, table, field, and connection using?  Note that these are all distinct levels of character set assignment in the database, with different effects at different levels.  For example, your server will set a default character set.  If you do not assign a character set for your connection, you will use the server default.  The database, when it was created, could have been assigned a default character set, or it would have used the server default.  The same with tables (which inherit from the database level) and fields (which inherit from the table level).  

Both of these sets need to match up in order for your special characters to be interpreted properly.  
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Kevin CrossConnect With a Mentor Chief Technology OfficerCommented:
Typically, this is handled on the front-end application. If this is PHP for example, you can use the functions like mysql_real_escape_strin().
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