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SQL Server: Storing language specific data in SQL Server table field.

While working on multi language support we need to insert different language data in same field or different fields of a SQL server table.

There are two basic rules one need to keep in mind while storing multi lingual or Unicode data:
·         First is column must be of Unicode data type (i.e., nchar, nvarchar, ntext).
·         And second is that the value must be prefixed with N while insertion.

Below is the sample script with output to understand it better.
USE MASTER
GO
-- Drop and Create TestMultiLingualDB
IF db_id('TestMultiLingualDB') IS NOT NULL
      DROP DATABASE TestMultiLingualDB
GO
SET NOCOUNT ON
GO
CREATE DATABASE TestMultiLingualDB
GO
USE TestMultiLingualDB
GO
CREATE TABLE MultiLanguage (Id INT, Var_Field VARCHAR(50), NVar_Field NVARCHAR(50))
GO
-- Insert Hindi Characters
INSERT INTO MultiLanguage VALUES (1, N'यह एक शब्द है', N'यह एक शब्द है')
GO
-- Insert Punjabi Characters
INSERT INTO MultiLanguage VALUES (2, N'ਇਹ ਇੱਕ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਦਾ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ', N'ਇਹ ਇੱਕ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਦਾ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ')
GO
--Select and see inserted values.
SELECT * FROM MultiLanguage
GO
-- Drop TestMultiLingualDB
USE MASTER
GO

DROP DATABASE TestMultiLingualDB
GO

In the output you can see that value in Var_Field are saved as ????, even though in script N is prefixed while inserting. This is because field is of VARCHAR type.
Id          Var_Field                           NVar_Field
----------- ----------------------------------- -----------------------------------
1           ?? ?? ???? ??                       यह एक शब्द है
2           ?? ??? ???? ?? ????? ??             ਇਹ ਇੱਕ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਦਾ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ

Note: If you are using a stored procedure to insert the Unicode data, then make sure that N is used before the string while passing the parameter to stored procedure. Also make sure the parameter declared in stored procedure is of Unicode type.

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