Deal with the special chars in oracle table

Some special chars in a table column show in the different symbols. It shows a wide dash in TOAD, an inverse question mark in sqlplus on Linux console, and a question mark in browser.  Is there any way to diagnose what it is, and fix it? Please can any gurus shed some light on it?
jl66ConsultantAsked:
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slightwv (䄆 Netminder) Commented:
From your previous question I'm 99.9% sure it is a character set issue.

If the database allows multi-byte character sets, like Chinese characters, and the client cannot, it will use some sort of glyph.

You can also have issues where the client tries to insert multi-byte characters into a database that doesn't allow them.

You need to make sure all the character sets between the clients and database match.  Then you shouldn't see 'special' characters.
jl66ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Thanks a lot for the info. I could not control the source, Is there anyway to know what it is and fix it?
slightwv (䄆 Netminder) Commented:
Ask those that control the source?

First you need to make sure where the issue is.

Can the database's characterset handle multi-byte characters?

Everything might be just fine and it your client that cannot properly display the data.

I find that troubleshooting character set issues are problematic to get everything talking together.
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HuaMin ChenProblem resolverCommented:
You must check if your DB is enabling Unicode or not.  Read
http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E11882_01/server.112/e10729/toc.htm
Mark GeerlingsDatabase AdministratorCommented:
To HuaMinChen:

This English syntax: "is enabling" which is the "present progressive" verb form in English, usually indicates a temporary situation or condition.  For example, I could say: "I am having trouble with a PL\SQL program today",

But, to describe permanent or long-term situations or conditions in English, we use the simple present tense, for example: "I have three children" or "I have an Oracle11 database."

So, I would write your previous post like this:

You must check if your DB has Unicode support enabled or not.  Read...
jl66ConsultantAuthor Commented:
on client side it shows the strange chars, so does on server side, but they are different. This is an issue I have to fix.
slightwv (䄆 Netminder) Commented:
You need to be careful how you use the terms client and server.

When you log into the database server and run sqlplus, sqplus is still a client connection.

You didn't answer my question:
First you need to make sure where the issue is.

Can the database's characterset handle multi-byte characters?

In other words:  what is the columns data type, and what is the database's character set and nchar character set?

select * from nls_database_parameters;
jl66ConsultantAuthor Commented:
This is a 11gr2 database. It should not be a problem to handle multi-byte characters.

export NLS_LANG=AMERICAN_AMERICA.WE8ISO8859P1 and started the sqlplus to query and the inverse question marks showed up, then export NLS_LANG=AMERICAN_AMERICA.AL32UTF8. This time  ^ on the top of A showed up. How should it be handled?
slightwv (䄆 Netminder) Commented:
If you aren't going to answer my questions, I don't see how I can help.

>>This is a 11gr2 database. It should not be a problem to handle multi-byte characters.

What is the character set of the database?
What is the data type of the column with the data in question?

>>This time  ^ on the top of A showed up. How should it be handled?

So, is that what the character is supposed to be?  If so, you can handle it by setting NLS_LANG correctly on all the clients that access the database.

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jl66ConsultantAuthor Commented:
I have a workaround. Thanks a lot to everyone.
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