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National Language Support


This chapter describes features that enable Oracle7 Server applications to operate with multiple languages using conventions specified by the application user. The following topics are included:

What Does National Language Support Provide?

Oracle7 Server National Language Support allows users to interact with the database in their native language. It also allows applications to run in different language environments.

To achieve these goals, NLS provides

The remainder of this chapter provides background on these issues and describes the mechanisms NLS provides to handle them.

Oracle7 Server NLS Architecture

The NLS architecture has two components: language-independent functions and language-dependent data. The former provides generic language-oriented features; the latter provides data required to operate these features for a specific language.

Because the language-dependent data is separate from the code, the operation of NLS functions is governed by data supplied at runtime. New languages can be added and language-specific application characteristics can be altered without requiring any code changes. This architecture also enables language-dependent features to be specified for each session.

Background Information

This section provides background information on the issues involved in multi-lingual applications, and shows how they are resolved by the National Language Support (NLS) features of the Oracle7 Server. The remaining sections of this chapter discuss the specific parameters that control NLS operation.

Character Encoding Schemes

To understand how Oracle7 Server deals with character data, it is important to understand the general features of character representation on computers. The appearance of a character on a terminal depends on the convention for character representation used by that terminal. When you press a character key on the keyboard, the terminal generates a numeric code specified by the character encoding scheme in use on that device. When the terminal receives a number representing a character, it displays the character shape specified by that encoding scheme.

Encoding schemes define the representation of alphabetic characters, numerals, and punctuation characters, together with codes that control terminal display and communication. A character encoding scheme (also known as a character set or code page) specifies numbers corresponding to each character that the terminal can display. Examples are 7-bit ASCII, EBCDIC Code Page 500, and Japanese Extended UNIX Code.

Many encoding schemes are used by hardware manufacturers to support different languages. All support the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet, A to Z. In general, single-byte encoding schemes are used for European languages and multi-byte encoding schemes for Asian languages.

Single-Byte 7-Bit Encoding Schemes

Single-byte 7-bit encoding schemes can define up to 128 characters, and normally support just one language. The only characters defined in 7-bit ASCII are the 26 Latin alphabetic characters. Various other 7-bit schemes are used where certain characters (normally punctuation) in 7-bit ASCII are replaced with additional alphanumeric characters required for a specific language.

Single-Byte 8-Bit Encoding Schemes

Single-byte 8-bit encoding schemes can define up to 256 characters, and normally support a group of languages. For example, ISO 8859/1 supports many West European languages.

Multi-Byte Encoding Schemes

Multi-byte encoding schemes are needed for Asian languages because these languages use thousands of characters. A double-byte encoding scheme can support up to 65536 characters. Some multi-byte encoding schemes use the value of the most significant bit to indicate if a byte represents a single-byte character or is the first or second byte of a double-byte character. In other schemes, control codes differentiate single-byte from double-byte characters. A shift-out code indicates that the following bytes are double-byte characters until a shift-in code is encountered.

There are two general groups of encoding schemes, those based on 7-bit ASCII and those based on IBM EBCDIC. Within each group, all schemes normally use the same encoding for the 26 Latin characters (A to Z), but use different encoding for other characters used in languages other than English. ASCII and EBCDIC use different encodings, even for the Latin characters.

National Language Support Enhancements

Oracle7 Server release 7.3 supports certain national language parameters as environment variables that can be altered by issuing appropriate operating-system commands. Greater flexibility for multi-lingual applications is thereby provided by allowing more granular specification of NLS parameters. The environment variables include NLS_DATE_FORMAT, NLS_DATE_LANGUAGE, and NLS_SORT, among others whose features are discussed in this chapter.

UTF2 Encoding

The UNICODE encoding scheme, UTF2, a variable-width, multi-byte format, is supported with Oracle7 Server release 7.3 to support both multi-byte and single-byte character sets.

Arabic/Hebrew Display Character Set Support

Semitic languages consist of ligatures and typically two sets of digits (that is, Arabic and Hindi numbers), in addition to their alphabetical characters. Using a display character set allows front-end input and output of ligatures and Arabic/Hindi numbers. Some of the display character sets even contain different shapes of a character whose form is context sensitive to its position in a word. However, a display character set should not be used for data storage purposes. A storage character set is defined for the use of data storage. Oracle7 Server release 7.3 supports conversion between display and storage character sets. The environment variable NLS_LANG defines the storage character set while NLS_DISPLAY sets the display character set. It is the client's responsibility to ensure that no display character set is defined as a storage character set and vice versa.

Specifying Language-Dependent Behavior

This section discusses the parameters that specify language-dependent operation. You can set language-dependent behavior defaults for the server and set language dependent behavior for the client that overrides these defaults.

Most NLS parameters can be used in three ways

		NLS_TERRITORY = FRANCE

		setenv NLS_TERRITORY FRANCE

		ALTER SESSION SET NLS_TERRITORY = FRANCE

The following NLS parameters can be initialization parameters, environment variables, and ALTER SESSION parameters:

The following parameters can be specified as initialization parameters and ALTER SESSION parameters, but not as environment variables:

For more information on these parameters, see "NLS Parameters"[*] and "Specifying Default Language-Dependent Behavior" [*].

The following NLS parameters can only be set as environment variables:

The NLS_SPECIAL_CHARS parameter can only be set as an initialization parameter.

For more information on these parameters, see "NLS Parameters"[*].

For additional information on NLS_DISPLAY, see "NLS_TERRITORY Parameter" [*].

For additional information on NLS_LANG, see "Specifying Language-Dependent Behavior for a Session" [*].

Specifying Language-Dependent Behavior for a Session

This section discusses the NLS parameters that specify language- dependent operation of applications.

NLS_LANG Environment Variable

The NLS_LANG environment variable has three components (language, territory, and charset) in the form:

NLS_LANG = language_territory.charset

Each component controls the operation of a subset of NLS features.

language

Specifies conventions such as the language used for Oracle messages, day names, and month names. Each supported language has a unique name; for example, American, French, or German. The language argument specifies default values for the territory and character set arguments, so either (or both) territory or charset can be omitted. For a complete list of languages, see "Supported Languages" [*].

territory

Specifies conventions such as the default date format and decimal character used for numbers. Each supported territory has a unique name; for example, America, France, or Canada. For a complete list of territories, see "Supported Territories" [*].

charset

Specifies the character set used by the client application (normally that of the user's terminal). Each supported character set has a unique acronym, for example, US7ASCII, WEISO8859P1, WE8DEC, WE8EBCDIC500, or JA16EUC. Each language has a default character set associated with it. Default values for the languages available on your system are listed in your installation or user's guide. For a complete list of character sets, see "Storage Character Sets" [*] and "Arabic/Hebrew Display Character Sets" [*].

Note: All components of the NLS_LANG definition are optional; any item left out will default. If you specify territory or charset, you must include the preceding delimiter [underscore ( _ ) for territory, period ( . ) for charset], otherwise the value will be parsed as a language name.

The three arguments of NLS_LANG can be specified in any combination, as in the following examples:

NLS_LANG = AMERICAN_AMERICA.US7ASCII

or

NLS_LANG = FRENCH_FRANCE.ISO8859P1

or

NLS_LANG = FRENCH_CANADA.WE8DEC

or

NLS_LANG = JAPANESE_JAPAN.JA16EUC

Specifying NLS_LANG

NLS_LANG is defined for each session by means of an environment variable or equivalent platform-specific mechanism. Different sessions connected to the same database can specify different values for NLS_LANG.

For example, on VMS you could specify the value of NLS_LANG by entering the following line at the VMS prompt:

$ DEFINE NLS_LANG FRENCH_FRANCE.WE8DEC

If you do not specify a value for NLS_LANG, the language_dependent behavior defaults to the language specified by the NLS_LANGUAGE database initialization parameter, the territory specified by the NLS-TERRITORY database initialization parameter, and the character set with which the database was created.

For more information on how to set NLS_LANG on your system, see your operating system-specific Oracle documentation.

Client/Server Architecture

NLS_LANG sets the NLS environment used by the database for both the Server session and for the client application. Using the one parameter ensures that the language environments of both database and client application are automatically the same.

Because NLS_LANG is an environment variable, it is read by the client application at startup time. The client communicates the information defined in NLS_LANG to the server when it connects.

Overriding Language and Territory Specifications

The default values for language and territory can be overridden for a session by using the ALTER SESSION statement. For example:

ALTER SESSION SET NLS_LANGUAGE = FRENCH NLS_TERRITORY = FRANCE

This feature implicitly determines the language environment of the database for each session. An ALTER SESSION statement is automatically executed when a session connects to a database to set the values of the database parameters NLS_LANGUAGE and NLS_TERRITORY to those specified by the language and territory arguments of NLS_LANG. If NLS_LANG is not defined, no ALTER SESSION statement is executed.

When NLS_LANG is defined, the implicit ALTER SESSION is executed for all instances to which the session connects, for both direct and indirect connections. If the values of NLS parameters are changed explicitly with ALTER SESSION during a session, the changes are propagated to all instances to which that user session is connected.

Specifying Language-Dependent Application Behavior

Language-Dependent Functions

Setting the values of various NLS parameters allows applications to function in a language-dependent manner. The language-dependent functions controlled by NLS include

Messages and Text

All messages and text should be in the same language. For example, when running a SQL*Forms application, messages and boilerplate text seen by the user originate from three sources:

The application is responsible for meeting the last requirement. NLS takes care of the other two.

Number Format

The database must know the number-formatting convention used in each session to interpret numeric strings correctly. For example, the database needs to know whether numbers are entered with a period or a comma as the decimal character (234.00 or 234,00). In the same vein, the application needs to be able to display numeric information in the format expected at the client site.

Date Format, Currency Symbols, and First Day of the Week

Similarly, date and currency information need to be interpreted properly when they are input to the Server, and formatted in the expected manner when output to the user's terminal. These functions are all controlled by the NLS parameters described later in this chapter.

Sorting Character Data

Conventionally, when character data is sorted, the sort sequence is based on the numeric values of the characters defined by the character encoding scheme. Such a sort is called a binary sort. Such a sort produces reasonable results for the English alphabet because the ASCII and EBCDIC standards define the letters A to Z in ascending numeric value.

Note however, that in the ASCII standard all uppercase letters appear before any lowercase letters. In the EBCDIC standard, the opposite is true: all lowercase letters appear before any uppercase letters.

Binary Sorts

When characters used in other languages are present, a binary sort generally does not produce reasonable results. For example, an ascending ORDER BY query would return the character strings ABC, ABZ, BCD, BC, in that sequence, when the has a higher numeric value than B in the character encoding scheme.

Linguistic Sorts

To produce a sort sequence that matches the alphabetic sequence of characters for a particular language, another sort technique must be used that sorts characters independently of their numeric values in the character encoding scheme. This technique is called a linguistic sort. A linguistic sort operates by replacing characters with other binary values that reflect the character's proper linguistic order so that a binary sort returns the desired result.

Oracle7 Server provides both sort mechanisms. Linguistic sort sequences are defined as part of language-dependent data. Each linguistic sort sequence has a unique name. NLS parameters define the sort mechanism for ORDER BY queries. A default value can be specified, and this value can be overridden for each session with the NLS_SORT parameter. A complete list of linguistic definitions is provided in the "Linguistic Definitions" table [*].

Warning: Linguistic sorting is not supported on multi-byte character sets. If the database character set is multi-byte, you get binary sorting, which makes the sort sequence dependent on the character set specification.

Linguistic Special Cases

Linguistic special cases are character sequences that need to be treated as a single character when sorting. Such special cases are handled automatically when using a linguistic sort. For example, one of the linguistic sort sequences for Spanish specifies that the double characters ch and ll are sorted as single characters appearing between c and d and between l and m respectively.

Another example is the German language sharp s (). The linguistic sort sequence German can sort this sequence as the two characters SS, while the linguistic sort sequence Austrian sorts it as SZ.

Special cases like these are also handled when converting uppercase characters to lowercase, and vice versa. For example, in German the uppercase of the sharp s is the two characters SS. Such case-conversion issues are handled by the NLS_UPPER, NLS_LOWER, and NLS_INITCAP functions, according to the conventions established by the linguistic sort sequence. (The standard functions UPPER, LOWER, and INITCAP do not handle these special cases.)

Specifying Default Language-Dependent Behavior

This section describes NLS_LANGUAGE and NLS_TERRITORY, the database initialization parameters that specify the default language-dependent behavior for a session.

NLS_LANGUAGE Parameter

NLS_LANGUAGE specifies the default conventions for the following session characteristics:

The value specified for NLS_LANGUAGE in the initialization file is the default for all sessions in that instance.

For more information on which language conventions supported, see your operating system-specific Oracle documentation.

For example, to specify the default session language as French, the parameter should be set as follows:

NLS_LANGUAGE = FRENCH

In this case, the Server message

ORA-00942: table or view does not exist

will appear as

ORA-00942: table ou vue n'existe pas

Messages used by the Server are stored in binary-format files that are placed in the ora_rdbms directory, or the equivalent.

Multiple versions of these files can exist, one for each supported language, using the filename convention

<product_id><language_id>.MSB

For example, the file containing the Server messages in French is called ORAF.MSB, "F" being the language abbreviation for French.

Messages are stored in these files in one specific character set, depending on the particular machine and operating system. If this is different from the database character set, message text is automatically converted to the database character set. If necessary, it will be further converted to the client character set if it is different from the database character set. Hence, messages will be displayed correctly at the user's terminal, subject to the limitations of character set conversion.

The default value of NLS_LANGUAGE may be operating system specific. You can alter the NLS_LANGUAGE parameter by changing the value in the initialization file and then restarting the instance.

For more information on the default value, see your operating system-specific Oracle documentation.

NLS_TERRITORY Parameter

NLS_TERRITORY specifies the conventions for the following default date and numeric formatting characteristics:

The value specified for NLS_TERRITORY in the initialization file is the default for the instance. For example, to specify the default as France, the parameter should be set as follows:

NLS_TERRITORY = FRANCE

In this case, numbers would be formatted using a comma as the decimal character.

The default value of NLS_TERRITORY may be operating system specific.

You can alter the NLS_TERRITORY parameter by changing the value in the initialization file and then restarting the instance.

For more information on the default value and to see which territory conventions are supported on your system, see your operating system-specific Oracle documentation.

Runtime Loadable NLS Data

Data Loading

Language independent data (NLSDATA) is loaded into memory at runtime; this determines the behavior of an application in a given language environment that is defined by the NLSDATA. In conjunction with NLSDATA, a boot file is used to determine the availability of NLS objects which can be loaded.

On initialization, the boot file is loaded into memory, where it serves as the master list of available NLS objects, prior to loading NLSDATA files. Oracle supports both system and user boot files. A user boot file may only contain a subset of the system boot file. When loading, the user boot file takes precedence over the system one. If the user boot file is not present, the system boot file will be used; this way, all NLS data defined in the system boot file will be available for loading. If neither user nor system boot file is found, then a default linked-in boot file and some default linked-in data objects (language American, territory America, character set US7ASCII) will be loaded. NLS functionality, however, will be limited to what is provided by the linked-in data objects. After a boot file (either user or system) is loaded, the NLSDATA files are read into memory based on the availability of the NLS objects defined in the boot file.

The idea behind a user boot file is to give an application further flexibility to tailor exactly which NLS objects it needs for its language environment, thus controlling the application's memory consumption.

Utilities

Oracle7 Server includes the following two utilities to assist you in maintaining NLS data:

NLS Data Installation Utility Generate binary-format data objects from their text-format versions. Use this when you receive NLS data updates or if you create your own data objects.
NLS Configuration Utility (LXBCNF) Create and edit user boot files.
For more information, see Oracle7 Server Utilities.

NLS Parameters

The NLS_LANGUAGE and NLS_TERRITORY parameters implicitly specify several aspects of language-dependent operation. Additional NLS parameters provide explicit control over these operations. The parameters listed below can be specified in the initialization file, or they can also be specified for each session with the ALTER SESSION command.

Parameter Description
NLS_CALENDAR Calendar system
NLS_CURRENCY Local currency symbol
NLS_DATE_FORMAT Default date format
NLS_DATE_LANGUAGE Default language for dates
NLS_ISO_CURRENCY ISO international currency symbol
NLS_LANGUAGE Default language
NLS_NUMERIC_CHARACTERS Decimal character and group separator
NLS_SORT Character sort sequence
NLS_SPECIAL_CHARS
NLS_TERRITORY Default territory
For a complete description of ALTER SESSION, see Oracle7 Server SQL Reference.

NLS_CALENDAR

Many different calendar systems are in use throughout the world. NLS_CALENDAR specifies which calendar system Oracle uses.

NLS_CALENDAR can have one of the following values:

For example, if NLS_CALENDAR is set to "Japanese Imperial", the date format is "YY-MM-DD", and the date is February 17, 1907, then the sysdate is displayed as follows:

SELECT SYSDATE FROM DUAL;
SYSDATE
--------
07-02-17 

NLS_CURRENCY

This parameter specifies the character string returned by the number format mask L, the local currency symbol, overriding that defined implicitly by NLS_TERRITORY. For example, to set the local currency symbol to "Dfl" (including a space), the parameter should be set as follows:

NLS_CURRENCY = "Dfl "

In this case, the query

SELECT TO_CHAR(TOTAL, 'L099G999D99') "TOTAL"
   FROM ORDERS WHERE CUSTNO = 586

would return

TOTAL
-------------
Dfl 12.673,49

You can alter the default value of NLS_CURRENCY by changing its value in the initialization file and then restarting the instance, and you can alter its value during a session using an ALTER SESSION SET NLS_CURRENCY command.

For a complete description of ALTER SESSION, see Oracle7 Server SQL Reference.

NLS_DATE_FORMAT

Defines the default date format to use with the TO_CHAR and TO_DATE functions. The default value of this parameter is determined by NLS_TERRITORY. The value of this parameter can be any valid date format mask, and the value must be surrounded by double quotes. For example:

NLS_DATE_FORMAT = "MM/DD/YYYY"

As another example, to set the default date format to display Roman numerals for months, you would include the following line in your initialization file:

NLS_DATE_FORMAT = "DD RM YY"

With such a default date format, the following SELECT statement would return the month using Roman numerals (assuming today's date is February 13, 1991):

SELECT TO_CHAR(SYSDATE) CURRDATE
   FROM DUAL;
CURRDATE
---------
13 II 91

The value of this parameter is stored in the tokenized internal date format. Each format element occupies two bytes, and each string occupies the number of bytes in the string plus a terminator byte. Also, the entire format mask has a two-byte terminator. For example, "MM/DD/YY" occupies 12 bytes internally because there are three format elements, two one-byte strings (the two slashes), and the two-byte terminator for the format mask. The tokenized format for the value of this parameter cannot exceed 24 bytes.

Note: The applications you design may need to allow for a variable-length default date format. Also, the parameter value must be surrounded by double quotes: single quotes are interpreted as part of the format mask.

You can alter the default value of NLS_DATE_FORMAT by changing its value in the initialization file and then restarting the instance, and you can alter the value during a session using an ALTER SESSION SET NLS_DATE_FORMAT command.

For a complete description of ALTER SESSION, see Oracle7 Server SQL Reference.

NLS_DATE_ LANGUAGE

This parameter specifies the language for the spelling of day and month names by the functions TO_CHAR and TO_DATE, overriding that specified implicitly by NLS_LANGUAGE. NLS_DATE_LANGUAGE has the same syntax as the NLS_LANGUAGE parameter, and all supported languages are valid values. For example, to specify the date language as French, the parameter should be set as follows:

NLS_DATE_LANGUAGE = FRENCH

In this case, the query

SELECT TO_CHAR(SYSDATE, 'Day:Dd Month yyyy')
   FROM DUAL;

would return

Mercredi:13 Fvrier 1991

Month and day name abbreviations are also in the language specified, for example:

Me:13 Fv 1991

The default date format also uses the language-specific month name abbreviations. For example, if the default date format is DD-MON-YYYY, the above date would be inserted using:

INSERT INTO tablename VALUES ('13-Fv-1991');

The abbreviations for AM, PM, AD, and BC are also returned in the language specified by NLS_DATE_LANGUAGE. Note that numbers spelled using the TO_CHAR function always use English spellings; for example:

SELECT TO_CHAR(TO_DATE('27-Fv-91'),'Day: ddspth Month')
   FROM DUAL;

would return:

Mercredi: twenty-seventh Fvrier

You can alter the default value of NLS_DATE_LANGUAGE by changing its value in the initialization file and then restarting the instance, and you can alter the value during a session using an ALTER SESSION SET NLS_DATE_LANGUAGE command.

For a complete description of ALTER SESSION, see Oracle7 Server SQL Reference.

NLS_ISO_CURRENCY

This parameter specifies the character string returned by the number format mask C, the ISO currency symbol, overriding that defined implicitly by NLS_TERRITORY.

Local currency symbols can be ambiguous; for example, a dollar sign ($) can refer to US dollars or Australian dollars. ISO Specification 4217 1987-07-15 defines unique "international" currency symbols for the currencies of specific territories (or countries).

For example, the ISO currency symbol for the US Dollar is USD, for the Australian Dollar AUD. To specify the ISO currency symbol, the corresponding territory name is used.

NLS_ISO_CURRENCY has the same syntax as the NLS_TERRITORY parameter, and all supported territories are valid values. For example, to specify the ISO currency symbol for France, the parameter should be set as follows:

NLS_ISO_CURRENCY = FRANCE

In this case, the query

SELECT TO_CHAR(TOTAL, 'C099G999D99') "TOTAL"
   FROM ORDERS WHERE CUSTNO = 586

would return

TOTAL
-------------
 FRF12.673,49

You can alter the default value of NLS_ISO_CURRENCY by changing its value in the initialization file and then restarting the instance, and you can alter its value during a session using an ALTER SESSION SET NLS_ISO_CURRENCY command.

For a complete description of ALTER SESSION, see Oracle7 Server SQL Reference.

NLS_NUMERIC_ CHARACTERS

This parameter specifies the decimal character and grouping separator, overriding those defined implicitly by NLS_TERRITORY. The decimal character separates the integer and decimal parts of a number. The grouping separator is the character returned by the number format mask G. For example, to set the decimal character to a comma and the grouping separator to a period, the parameter should be set as follows:

NLS_NUMERIC_CHARACTERS = ",."

Both characters are single byte and must be different. Either can be a space.

Note: When the decimal character is not a period (.) or when a group separator is used, numbers appearing in SQL statements must be enclosed in quotes. For example:

        INSERT INTO SIZES (ITEMID, WIDTH, QUANTITY)
          VALUES (618, '45,5', TO_NUMBER('1.234','9G999'));

You can alter the default value of NLS_NUMERIC_CHARACTERS by changing its value in the initialization file and then restarting the instance, and you can alter its value during a session using an ALTER SESSION SET NLS_DATE_LANGUAGE command.

For a complete description of ALTER SESSION, see Oracle7 Server SQL Reference.

NLS_SORT

This parameter specifies the type of sort for character data, overriding that defined implicitly by NLS_LANGUAGE.

The syntax of NLS_SORT is:

NLS_SORT = { BINARY | name }

BINARY specifies a binary sort and name specifies a particular linguistic sort sequence. For example, to specify the linguistic sort sequence called German, the parameter should be set as follows:

NLS_SORT = German

The name given to a linguistic sort sequence has no direct connection to language names. Usually, however, each supported language will have an appropriate linguistic sort sequence defined that uses the same name.

Note: Setting the NLS_SORT initialization parameter to BINARY causes a sort to use a full table scan, regardless of the path the optimizer chooses.

You can alter the default value of NLS_SORT by changing its value in the initialization file and then restarting the instance, and you can alter its value during a session using an ALTER SESSION SET NLS_SORT command.

For a complete description of ALTER SESSION, see Oracle7 Server SQL Reference.

A complete list of linguistic definitions is provided in the "Linguistic Definitions" table [*].

Specifying Character Sets

The character encoding scheme used by the database is defined at database creation as part of the CREATE DATABASE statement. All data columns of type CHAR, VARCHAR2, and LONG, including columns in the data dictionary, have their data stored in the database character set. In addition, the choice of character set determines which characters can name objects in the database.

Once the database is created, the database character set cannot be changed without re-creating the database. Hence, it is important to consider carefully which character set to use. The database character set should always be a superset or equivalent of the operating system's native character set. The character sets used by client applications that access the database will usually determine which superset is the best choice.

If all client applications use the same character set, then this is the normal choice for the database character set. When client applications use different character sets, the database character set should be a superset (or equivalent) of all the client character sets. This will ensure that every character is represented when converting from a client character set to the database character set.

When a client application operates with a terminal that uses a different character set, then the client application's characters must be converted to the database character set, and vice versa. This conversion is performed automatically, and is transparent to the client application. The character set used by the client application is defined by the NLS_LANG parameter.

Supported Character Sets

Oracle7 Server National Language Support features solve the problems that result from the fact that different encoding schemes use different binary values to represent the same character. With NLS, data created with one encoding scheme can be correctly processed and displayed on a system that uses a different encoding scheme.

Character Set Conversion

Where a character exists in both source and destination character sets, conversion presents no problem. However, data conversion has to accommodate characters that do not exist in the destination character set. In such cases, replacement characters are used. The source character is replaced by a character that does exist in the destination character set.

Replacement characters may be defined for specific characters as part of a character set definition. Where a specific replacement character is not defined, a default replacement character is used. To avoid the use of replacement characters when converting from client to database character set, the latter should be a superset (or equivalent) of all the client character sets.

The Concatenation Operator

If the database character set replaces the vertical bar ("|") with a national character, then all SQL statements that use the concatenation operator (ASCII 124) will fail. For example, creating a procedure will fail because it generates a recursive SQL statement that uses concatenation. When you use a 7-bit replacement character set such as D7DEC, F7DEC, or SF7ASCII for the database character set, then the national character which replaces the vertical bar is not allowed in object names because the vertical bar is interpreted as the concatenation operator.

On the user side, a 7-bit replacement character set can be used if the database character set is the same or compatible, that is, if both character sets replace the vertical bar with the same national character.

Storing Data in Multi-Byte Character Sets

Width specifications of the character datatypes CHAR and VARCHAR2 refer to bytes, not characters. Hence, the specification CHAR(20) in a table definition allows 20 bytes for storing character data.

If the database character set is single byte, the number of characters and number of bytes will be the same. If the database character set is multi-byte, there will in general be no such correspondence. A character may consist of one or more bytes, depending on the specific multi-byte encoding scheme and whether shift-in/shift-out control codes are present. Hence, column widths must be chosen with care to allow for the maximum possible number of bytes for a given number of characters.

Loadable Character Sets

Oracle7 Server release 7.3 loads character sets upon first reference. Instead of linking all character sets as static data, each character set is read into dynamic memory upon first reference. The size of the executable is thus reduced by eliminating character set data not in use during execution.

Date and Number Formats

Several format masks are provided with the TO_CHAR, TO_DATE, and TO_NUMBER functions to format dates and numbers according to the relevant conventions.

Note: The TO_NUMBER function also accepts a format mask.

Date Formats

A format element RM (Roman Month) returns a month as a Roman numeral. Both uppercase and lowercase can be specified, using RM and rm respectively. For example, for the date 7 Sep 1992, "DD-rm-YY" will return "07-ix-92" and "DD-RM-YY" will return "07-IX-92".

Note that the MON and DY format masks explicitly support month and day abbreviations that may not be three characters in length. For example, the abbreviations "Lu" and "Ma" can be specified for the French "Lundi" and "Mardi", respectively.

Week and Day Number Conventions

The week numbers returned by the WW format mask are calculated according to the algorithm int((day-ijan1)/7). This week number algorithm does not follow the ISO standard (2015, 1992-06-15).

To support the ISO standard, a format element IW is provided that returns the ISO week number. In addition, format elements I IY IYY and IYYY, equivalent in behavior to the format elements Y YY YYY YYYY, return the year relating to the ISO week number.

In the ISO standard, the year relating to an ISO week number can be different from the calendar year. For example 1st Jan 1988 is in ISO week number 53 of 1987. A week always starts on a Monday and ends on a Sunday.

For example, January 1, 1991, is a Tuesday, so Monday, December 31, 1990, to Sunday, January 6, 1991, is week 1. Thus the ISO week number and year for December 31, 1990, is 1, 1991. To get the ISO week number, use the format mask "IW" for the week number and one of the "IY" formats for the year.

Number Formats

Several additional format elements are provided for formatting numbers:

For Roman numerals, both uppercase and lowercase can be specified, using RN and rn, respectively. The number to be converted must be an integer in the range 1 to 3999.

For a more information on using date masks, see Oracle7 Server SQL Reference.

Additional NLS Environment Variables

SQL commands such as ALTER SESSION SET NLS...=... can be issued to alter the NLS settings for the current session. In addition, Oracle7 Server release 7.3 supports the following NLS parameters as environment variables to provide greater flexibility for multi-lingual applications:

These variables work in a similar fashion to NLS_LANG. The syntax for the environments listed above is the same as that for the ALTER SESSION command.

The following is an example for a UNIX environment:

setenv NLS_DATE_FORMAT "dd/mon/yy"

For more information, see the Oracle7 Server Administrator's Guide.

Client-Only Environment Variables

The following environment variables can be set in the client environment:

NLS_CREDIT

Default value:

derived from NLS_TERRITORY

Range of values:

any string, maximum of 9 bytes (not including null)

NLS_CREDIT sets the symbol that displays a credit in financial reports. The default value of this parameter is determined by NLS_TERRITORY.

NLS_DEBIT

Default value:

derived from NLS_TERRITORY

Range of values:

any string, maximum of 9 bytes (not including null)

NLS_DEBIT sets the symbol that displays a debit in financial reports. The default value of this parameter is determined by NLS_TERRITORY.

NLS_DISPLAY

Default value:

none

Range of values:

any valid string

NLS_DISPLAY sets the client-side display environment. It is only applicable to Hebrew and Arabic languages. For a list of valid character sets, see page 4 - 38.

Value is a string of the form locale_direction.characterset, where locale is any string up to 20 bytes (not including null) containing only the characters [A-Z, a-z, 0-9 -], direction is either RTL or LTR (case- insensitive), and characterset specifies a valid display character set.

Specification of locale and direction is optional. If omitted, locale will default to an empty string, and direction will default to LTR. The characterset option must be specified. If you specify direction or characterset, you must include the preceding delimeter [underscore ( _ ) for direction, period ( . ) for characterset], otherwise the value will be parsed as a language name.

NLS_LIST_SEPARATOR

Default value:

derived from NLS_TERRITORY

Range of values:

any valid character

Defines the character to use to separate values in a list of values.

The character specified must be single-byte and cannot be the same as either the numeric or monetary decimal character, any numeric character, or any of the following characters: plus (+), hyphen (-), less than sign (<), greater than sign (>), period (.).

NLS_MONETARY_CHARACTERS

Default value:

derived from NLS_TERRITORY

Defines the characters that indicate monetary units, such as the dollar sign ($) for U.S. Dollars, and the cent symbol () for cents.

The two characters specified must be single-byte and cannot be the same as each other. They also cannot be any numeric character or any of the following characters: plus (+), hyphen (-), less than sign (<), greater than sign (>).

Using NLS Parameters in SQL Functions

All character functions support both single-byte and multi-byte characters. Except where explicitly stated, character functions operate character-by-character, rather than byte-by-byte.

All SQL functions whose behavior depends on NLS conventions allow NLS parameters to be specified. These functions are

Explicitly specifying the optional NLS parameters for these functions allows the function evaluations to be independent of the NLS parameters in force for the session. This feature may be important for SQL statements that contain numbers and dates as string literals.

For example, the following query is only evaluated correctly if the language being for dates is American:

SELECT ENAME FROM EMP
WHERE HIREDATE > '1-JAN-91'

Such a query can be made independent of the current date language using:

SELECT ENAME FROM EMP
WHERE HIREDATE > TO_DATE('1-JAN-91','DD-MON-YY',
   'NLS_DATE_LANGUAGE = AMERICAN')

In this way, language-independent SQL statements can be defined where necessary. For example, such statements may be necessary when string literals appear in SQL statements in views, CHECK constraints, or triggers.

Default Specifications

When evaluating views and triggers, default values for NLS function parameters are taken from the values currently in force for the session. When evaluating CHECK constraints, default values are set by the NLS parameters that were specified at database creation.

Specifying Parameters

The syntax that specifies NLS parameters in SQL functions is:

'parameter = value'

The following NLS parameters may be specified:

Only certain NLS parameters are valid for particular SQL functions, as follows:

Examples of the use of NLS parameters are

TO_DATE ('1-JAN-89', 'DD-MON-YY',
   'nls_date_language = American')

TO_CHAR (hiredate, 'DD/MON/YYYY',
   'nls_date_language = French')


TO_NUMBER ('13.000,00', '99G999D99',
   'nls_numeric_characters = ''.,''')

TO_CHAR (sal, '9G999D99L', 'nls_numeric_characters = ''.,''
   nls_currency = ''Dfl ''')

TO_CHAR (sal, '9G999D99C', 'nls_numeric_characters = '',.''
   nls_iso_currency = Japan')
NLS_UPPER (ename, 'nls_sort = Austrian')

NLSSORT (ename, 'nls_sort = German')

Note: For some languages, various lowercase characters correspond to a sequence of uppercase characters, or vice versa. As a result, the output from NLS_UPPER, NLS_LOWER, and NLS_INITCAP can differ from the length of the input.

Unacceptable Parameters

Note that NLS_LANGUAGE and NLS_TERRITORY are not accepted as parameters. Only NLS parameters that explicitly define the specific data items required for unambiguous interpretation of a format are accepted. NLS_DATE_FORMAT is also not accepted as a parameter for the reason described below.

If an NLS parameter is specified in TO_CHAR, TO_NUMBER, or TO_DATE, a format mask must also be specified as the second parameter. For example, the following specification is legal:

TO_CHAR (hiredate, 'DD/MON/YY', 'nls_date_language = French')

These are illegal:

TO_CHAR (hiredate, 'nls_date_language = French')
TO_CHAR (hiredate, 'nls_date_language = French',
   'DD/MON/YY')

This restriction means that a date format must always be specified if an NLS parameter is in a TO_CHAR or TO_DATE function. As a result, NLS_DATE_FORMAT is not a valid NLS parameter for these functions.

CONVERT Function

The SQL function CONVERT allows for conversion of character data between character sets.

For more information on CONVERT, see Oracle7 Server SQL Reference.

The CONVERT function converts the binary representation of a character string in one character set to another. It uses exactly the same technique as described previously for the conversion between database and client character sets. Hence, it uses replacement characters and has the same limitations. The syntax for CONVERT is:

where src_char_set is the source and dest_char_set is the destination character set.

NLSSORT Function

The NLSSORT function replaces a character string with the equivalent sort string used by the linguistic sort mechanism. For a binary sort, the sort string is the same as the input string. The linguistic sort technique operates by replacing each character string with some other binary values, chosen so that sorting the resulting string produces the desired sorting sequence. When a linguistic sort is being used, NLSSORT returns the binary values that replace the original string.

String Comparisons in a WHERE Clause

NLSSORT allows applications to perform string matching that follows alphabetic conventions. Normally, character strings in a WHERE clause are compared using the characters' binary values. A character is "greater than" another if it has a higher binary value in the database character set. Because the sequence of characters based on their binary values may not match the alphabetic sequence for a language, such comparisons often do not follow alphabetic conventions. For example, if a column (COL1) contains the values ABC, ABZ, BCD and BC in the ISO 8859/1 8-bit character set, the following query:

SELECT COL1 FROM TAB1 WHERE COL1 > 'B'

returns both BCD and BC because has a higher numeric value than B. However, in German, an is sorted alphabetically before B. Such conventions are language dependent even when the same character is used. In Swedish, an is sorted after Z. Linguistic comparisons can be made using NLSSORT in the WHERE clause, as follows:

WHERE NLSSORT(col) comparison_operator NLSSORT(comparison_string)

Note that NLSSORT has to be on both sides of the comparison operator. For example:

SELECT COL1 FROM TAB1 WHERE NLSSORT(COL1) > NLSSORT('B')

If a German linguistic sort is being used, this does not return strings beginning with because in the German alphabet comes before B. If a Swedish linguistic sort is being used, such names are returned because in the Swedish alphabet comes after Z.

Controlling an ORDER BY Clause

If a linguistic sorting sequence is in use, then NLSSORT is used implicitly on each character item in the ORDER BY clause. As a result, the sort mechanism (linguistic or binary) for an ORDER BY is transparent to the application. However, if the NLSSORT function is explicitly specified for a character item in an ORDER BY item, then the implicit NLSSORT is not done.

In other words, the NLSSORT linguistic replacement is only applied once, not twice. The NLSSORT function is generally not needed in an ORDER BY clause when the default sort mechanism is a linguistic sort. However, when the default sort mechanism is BINARY, then a query such as:

SELECT ENAME FROM EMP
ORDER BY ENAME

will use a binary sort. A German linguistic sort can be obtained using:

SELECT ENAME FROM EMP
ORDER BY NLSSORT(ENAME, 'NLS_SORT = GERMAN')

Obsolete NLS Data

Prior to Oracle Server release 7.2, when a character set was renamed the old name was usually supported along with the new name for several releases after the change. Beginning with release 7.2, the old names are no longer supported. The following table lists the affected character sets. If you reference any of these character sets in your code, please replace them with their new names.

Old Name New Name
AR8MSAWIN AR8MSWIN1256
JVMS JA16VMS
JEUC JA16EUC
SJIS JA16SJIS
JDBCS JA16DBCS
KSC5601 KO16KSC5601
KDBCS KO16DBCS
CGB2312-80 ZHS16CGB231280
CNS 11643-86 ZHT32EUC
ZHT32CNS1164386 ZHT32EUC
TSTSET2 JA16TSTSET2
TSTSET JA16TSTSET
Table 4 - 1. New Names for Obsolete NLS Data Character Sets

Character set CL8MSWINDOW31 has been de-supported. The newer character set CL8MSWIN1251 is actually a duplicate of CL8MSWINDOW31 and includes some characters omitted from the earlier version. Change any usage of CL8MSWINDOW31 to CL8MSWIN1251 instead.

Unicode (UTF2) Support

Unicode has two major encoding schemes: UCS2 and UTF2. While UCS2 is a two-byte fixed-width format, UTF2 is a multi-byte format with variable width. Oracle Server release 7.3 provides support for the UTF2 format because this enhancement is transparent to clients who already provide support for multi-byte character sets. Support for UCS2 will be available in a future release when clients themselves can support two-byte fixed-width (hence non-ASCII/EBCDIC compatible) formats.

The character set name for UTF2 is AL24UTFFSS. Conversion between UTF2 and other existing character sets is provided in this release of Oracle Server. Conversion between UTF2 and single-byte character sets is done through an internal number matching mechanism; conversion between UTF2 and multi-byte character sets is done with conversion functions and tables.

Clients should be aware that AL24UTFFSS is now officially supported as a new character set. Since the encoding scheme of UTF2 is very similar to some existing character sets, no major impact on existing products is expected.

NLS Data

This section lists supported languages, territories, storage character sets, Arabic/Hebrew display character sets, linguistic definitions, and calendars.

Supported Languages

The following languages are supported in Oracle Server release 7.3:

Supported Territories

The following territories are supported in Oracle Server release 7.3:

Storage Character Sets

The following storage character sets are supported in Oracle Server release 7.3:

Name Description
US7ASCII ASCII 7-bit American
WE8DEC DEC 8-bit West European
WE8HP HP LaserJet 8-bit West European
US8PC437 IBM-PC Code Page 437 8-bit American
WE8EBCDIC37 EBCDIC Code Page 37 8-bit West European
WE8EBCDIC500 EBCDIC Code Page 500 8-bit West European
WE8PC850 IBM-PC Code Page 850 8-bit West European
D7DEC DEC VT 100 7-bit German
F7DEC DEC VT 100 7-bit French
S7DEC DEC VT100 7-bit Swedish
E7DEC DEC VT100 7-bit Spanish
SF7ASCII ASCII 7-bit Finnish
NDK7DEC DEC VT100 7-bit Norwegian/Danish
I7DEC DEC VT100 7-bit Italian
NL7DEC DEC VT100 7-bit Dutch
CH7DEC DEC VT100 7-bit Swiss (German/French)
YUG7ASCII ASCII 7-bit Yugoslavian
SF7DEC DEC VT 100 7-bit Finnish
TR7DEC DEC VT100 7-bit Turkish
WE8ISO8859P1 ISO 8859-1 West European
EE8ISO8859P2 ISO 8859-2 East European
SE8ISO8859P3 ISO 8859-3 South European
NEE8ISO8859P4 ISO 8859-4 North and North-East European
CL8ISO8859P5 ISO 8859-5 Latin/Cyrillic
AR8ISO8859P6 ISO 8859-6 Latin/Arabic
EL8ISO8859P7 ISO 8859-7 Latin/Greek
IW8ISO8859P8 ISO 8859-8 Latin/Hebrew
WE8ISO8859P9 ISO 8859-9 West European & Turkish
NE8ISO8859P10 ISO 8859-10 North European
TH8TISASCII Thai Industrial Standard 620-2533 - ASCII 8-bit
TH8TISEBCDIC Thai Industrial Standard 620-2533 - EBCDIC 8-bit
AR8EBCDICX EBCDIC XBASIC 8-bit Latin/Arabic
EL8DEC DEC 8-bit Latin/Greek
TR8DEC DEC 8-bit Turkish
WE8EBCDIC37C EBCDIC Code Page 37 8-bit Oracle/c
RU8PC866 IBM-PC Code Page 866 8-bit Latin/Cyrillic
WE8EBCDIC500C EBCDIC Code Page 500 8-bit Oracle/c
EEC8EUROPA3 EEC EUROPA3 8-bit West European/Greek
EE8PC852 IBM-PC Code Page 852 8-bit East European
RU8BESTA BESTA 8-bit Latin/Cyrillic
RU8PC855 IBM-PC Code Page 855 8-bit Latin/Cyrillic
TR8PC857 IBM-PC Code Page 857 8-bit Turkish
CL8MACCYRILLIC Mac Client 8-bit Latin/Cyrillic
CL8MACCYRILLICS Mac Server 8-bit Latin/Cyrillic
WE8PC860 IBM-PC Code Page 860 8-bit West European
IS8PC861 IBM-PC Code Page 861 8-bit Icelandic
EE8MACCES Mac Server 8-bit Central European
EE8MACCROATIANS Mac Server 8-bit Croatian
TR8MACTURKISHS Mac Server 8-bit Turkish
IS 8MACICELANDICS Mac Server 8-bit Icelandic
EL8MACGREEKS Mac Server 8-bit Greek
EE8MSWIN 1250 MS Windows Code Page 1250 8-bit East European
CL8MSWIN1251 MS Windows Code Page 1251 8-bit Latin/Cyrillic
F8EBCDIC297 EBCDIC Code Page 297 8-bit French
BG8MSWIN MS Windows 8-bit Bulgarian Cyrillic
EL8MSWIN1253 MS Windows Code Page 1253 8-bit Latin/Greek
D8EBCDIC273 EBCDIC Code Page 273/18-bit Austrian German
I8EBCDIC280 EBCDIC Code Page 280/18-bit Italian
DK8EBCDIC277 EBCDIC Code Page 277/18-bit Danish
S8EBCDIC278 EBCDIC Code Page 278/18-bit Swedish
EE8EBCDIC870 EBCDIC Code Page 870 8-bit East European
CL8EBCDIC1025 EBCDIC Code Page 1025 8-bit Cyrillic
N8PC865 IBM-PC Code Page 865 8-bit Norwegian
F7SIEMENS9780X Siemens 97801/97808 7-bit French
E7SIEMENS9780X Siemens 97801/97808 7-bit Spanish
S7SIEMENS9780X Siemens 97801/97808 7-bit Swedish
DK7SIEMENS9780X Siemens 97801/97808 7-bit Danish
N7SIEMENS9780X Siemens 97801/97808 7-bit Norwegian
I7SIEMENS9780X Siemens 97801/97808 7-bit Italian
D7SIEMENS9780X Siemens 97801/97808 7-bit German
WE8GCOS7 Bull EBCDIC GCOS7 8-bit West European
US8BS2000 Siemens 9750-62 EBCDIC 8-bit American
D8BS2000 Siemens 9750-62 EBCDIC 8-bit German
F8BS2000 Siemens 9750-62 EBCDIC 8-bit French
E8BS2000 Siemens 9750-62 EBCDIC 8-bit Spanish
DK8BS2000 S Siemens 9750-62 EBCDIC 8-bit Danish
WE8BS2000 Siemens EBCDIC.DF.04 8-bit West European
CL8BS2000 Siemens EBCDIC.EHC.LC 8-bit Cyrillic
WE8BS2000L5 Siemens EBCDIC.DF.O4.L5 8-bit West European/Turkish
WE8DG DG 8-bit West European
WE8NCR4970 NCR 4970 8-bit West European
WE8ROMAN8 HP Roman8 8-bit West European
EE8MACCE Mac Client 8-bit Central European
EE8MACCROATIAN Mac Client 8-bit Croatian
TR8MACTURKISH Mac Client 8-bit Turkish
IS8MACICELANDIC Mac Client 8-bit Icelandic
EL8MACGREEK Mac Client 8-bit Greek
US8ICL ICL EBCDIC 8-bit American
WE8ICL ICL EBCDIC 8-bit West European
WE8MACROMAN8 Mac Client 8-bit Extended Roman8 West European
WE8MACROMAN8S Mac Server 8-bit Extended Roman8 West European
TH8MACTHAI Mac Client 8-bit Latin/Thai
TH8MACTHAIS Mac Server 8-bit Latin/Thai
HU8CWI2 Hungarian 8-bit CWI-2
TR8ISO8859P9 Turkish version ISO 8859-9 West European & Turkish
EL8PC437S IBM-PC Code Page 437 8-bit (Greek modification)
EL8EBCDIC875 EBCDIC Code Page 875 8-bit Greek
EL8PC737 IBM-PC Code Page 737 8-bit Greek/Latin
LT8PC772 IBM-PC Code Page 772 8-bit Lithuanian (Latin/Cyrillic)
LT8PC774 IBM-PCCode Page 774 8-bit Lithuanian (Latin)
CDN8PC863 IBM-PC Code Page 863 8-bit Canadian French
AR8ASMO8X ASMO Extended 708 8-bit Latin/Arabic
AR8NAFITHA711 Nafitha Enhanced 711 Server 8-bit Latin/Arabic
AR8SAKHR707 SAKHR 707 Server 8-bit Latin/Arabic
AR8MUSSAD768 Mussa'd Alarabi/2 768 Server 8-bit Latin/Arabic
AR8ADOS710 Arabic MS-DOS 710 Server 8-bit Latin/Arabic
AR8ADOS720 Arabic MS-DOS 720 Server 8-bit Latin/Arabic
AR8APTEC715 APTEC 715 Server 8-bit Latin/Arabic
AR8MSWIN1256 MS Windows Code Page 1256 8-Bit Latin/Arabic
AR8NAFITHA721 Nafitha International 721 Server 8-bit Latin/Arabic
AR8SAKHR706 SAKHR 706 Server 8-bit Latin/Arabic
AR8ARABICMAC Mac Client 8-bit Latin/Arabic
AR8ARABICMACS Mac Server 8-bit Latin/Arabic
JA16VMS JVMS 16-bit Japanese
JA16EUC EUC 16-bit Japanese
JA16SJIS Shift-JIS 16-bit Japanese
JA16DBCS IBM DBCS 16-bit Japanese
JA16HP HP 16-bit Japanese
JA16EBCDIC930 IBM DBCS Code Page 290 16-bit Japanese
JA16TOSHIBAEUC Toshiba EUC 16-bit Japanese
KO16KSC5601 KSC5601 16-bit Korean
KO16DBCS IBM DBCS 16-bit Korean
ZHS16CGB231280 CGB2312-80 16-bit Simplified Chinese
ZHT32EUC EUC 32-bit Traditional Chinese
ZHT32SOPS SOPS 32-bit Traditional Chinese
ZHT16DBT Taiwan Taxation 16-bit Traditional Chinese
ZHT32TRIS TRIS 32-bit Traditional Chinese
ZHT16BIG5 BIG5 16-bit Traditional Chinese
AL24UTFFSS Unicode UTF-FSS
JA16TSTSET2 ASCII-based 16-bit Test Character Set
JA16TSTSET Shift-sensitive ASCII-based Test Character Set
Table 4 - 2. (continued) Storage Character Sets

Arabic/Hebrew Display Character Sets

The following Arabic/Hebrew display character sets are supported in Oracle Server release 7.3:

Name Description
AR8ASMO708PLUS ASMO 708 Plus 8-bit Latin/Arabic
AR7ASMO449PLUS ASMO 449 Plus 7-bit Latin/Arabic
AR7AMEER Ameer 7-bit Latin/Arabic
AR8XBASIC XBASIC Right-to-Left Arabic Character Set
AR8NAFITHA711T Nafitha Enhanced 711 Client 8-bit Latin/Arabic
AR8SAKHR707T SAKHR 707 Client 8-bit Latin/Arabic
AR8MUSSAD768T Mussa'd Alarabi/2 768 Client 8-bit Latin/Arabic
AR8ADOS710T Arabic MS-DOS 710 Client 8-bit Latin/Arabic
AR8ADOS720T Arabic MS-DOS 720 Client 8-bit Latin/Arabic
AR8APTEC715T APTEC 7 15 Client 8-bit Latin/Arabic
AR8NAFITHA721T Nafitha International 721 Client 8-bit Latin/Arabic
AR7SEDCOT SEDCO/ESPRIT/DATA GENERAL 7-bit Latin/Arabic
AR8HPARABIC8T HP ARABIC8 8-bit Latin/Arabic
Table 4 - 3. Arabic/Hebrew Display Character Sets

Linguistic Definitions

Linguistic definitions define linguistic cases for particular languages. Extended linguistic definitions include some special linguistic cases for the language. Oracle Server supports the following linguistic definitions:

Name Extended Name
WEST_EUROPEAN XWEST_EUROPEAN
GERMAN XGERMAN
DANISH XDANISH
SPANISH XSPANISH
GERMAN DIN XGERMAN_DIN
FINNISH
FRENCH
NORWEGIAN
SWEDISH
ITALIAN
ICELANDIC
DUTCH XDUTCH
SWISS XSWISS
ARABIC
HUNGARIAN XHUNGARIAN
GREEK
CZECH XCZECH
POLISH
SLOVAK XSLOVAK
LATIN
THAI_DICTIONARY
THAI_TELEPHONE
TURKISH XTURKISH
RUSSIAN
HEBREW
LITHUANIAN
CROATIAN XCROATIAN
ROMANIAN
BULGARIAN
CATALAN XCATALAN
SLOVENIAN XSLOVENIAN
Table 4 - 4. (continued) Linguistic Definitions

Calendar Systems

Oracle Server release 7.3 supports the following five additional calendar systems:

Name Character Set Texts Default Format
Japanese Imperial JA16EUC EEYY"\307\257"MM"\267\356"DD"\306\374"
ROC Official ZHT32EUC EEyy"\310\241 "mm"\305\314"dd"\305\312"
Thai Buddha TH8TISASCII "\307\321\27 1\267\325\350" dd month EE yyyy
Persian AR8ASMO8X DD Month YYYY
Arabic Hijrah AR8ISO8859P6 DD Month YYYY
Table 4 - 5. NLS Supported Calendars




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