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Oracle® Database SQL Language Reference
11g Release 1 (11.1)

Part Number B28286-01
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Character Set Support

Oracle supports most national, international, and vendor-specific encoded character set standards. A complete list of character sets supported by Oracle Appears in Oracle Database Globalization Support Guide.

Unicode is a universal encoded character set that lets you store information from any language using a single character set. Unicode is required by modern standards such as XML, Java, JavaScript, and LDAP. Unicode is compliant with ISO/IEC standard 10646. You can obtain a copy of ISO/IEC standard 10646 from this address:

International Organization for Standardization
1 Rue de Varembé
Case postale 56
CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland
Phone: +41.22.749.0111
Fax: +41.22.733.3430
Web site:

Oracle Database complies fully with Unicode 4.0, the fourth and most recent version of the Unicode standard. For up-to-date information on this standard, visit the Web site of the Unicode Consortium:

Oracle uses UTF-8 (8-bit) encoding by way of three database character sets, two for ASCII-based platforms (UTF8 and AL32UTF8) and one for EBCDIC platforms (UTFE). If you prefer to implement Unicode support incrementally, then you can store Unicode data in either the UTF-16 or UTF-8 encoding form, in the national character set, for the SQL NCHAR datatypes (NCHAR, NVARCHAR2, and NCLOB).

See Also:

Oracle Database Globalization Support Guide for details on Oracle character set support.