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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

3.9 National Character Set

Before MySQL 4.1, NCHAR and CHAR were synonymous. ANSI defines NCHAR or NATIONAL CHAR as a way to indicate that a CHAR column should use some predefined character set. MySQL 4.1 and up uses utf8 as that predefined character set. For example, these column type declarations are equivalent:

CHAR(10) CHARACTER SET utf8
NATIONAL CHARACTER(10)
NCHAR(10)

As are these:

VARCHAR(10) CHARACTER SET utf8
NATIONAL VARCHAR(10)
NCHAR VARCHAR(10)
NATIONAL CHARACTER VARYING(10)
NATIONAL CHAR VARYING(10)

You can use N'literal' to create a string in the national character set. These two statements are equivalent:

SELECT N'some text';
SELECT _utf8'some text';
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