Insert French Characters Into MySQL

I was developing a bi-lingual website, so my custom CMS should be able to accept and display both English and non English characters. For English characters, it’s a piece of cake. But for French characters, I have pulling my hair for days to find out what went wrong with my script.

I have set the database to use UTF-8 encoding, but every time I inserted the text it’s messed up. French characters become a horror, unreadable for everyone.

After several days –literally– I have found the solution: I must set the character set into UTF-8 right before I insert the data!

< ?php
mysql_query("SET CHARACTER SET utf8"); //<--the key!
mysql_query("insert into data values ('$french_chars')");

SET CHARACTER SET utf8 will tell MySQL to store the inserted data using UTF-8 encoding. And it works for me.


  1. Berarti 3 bahasa, hebat!

  2. Pengalaman otak atik yang dapat ku ambil hasilnya! Trims telah berbagi tips!

  3. how about default-character-set = utf8 in my.ini ?

  4. Comment by post author

    I’m using shared hosting, it’s impossible to modify MySQL configuration (my.ini/my.cnf) file.

  5. Ahh, thanks for this!

  6. Shaw

    Helped me out on this one, thanks.

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