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I made some attempts to dig into this issue, here are the results. When you set a connection charset (i.e. SET NAMES utf8) MySQL transparently handle encoding conversion for you. For instance if I insert a à (\xE0 in latin1 \xC3A0 in utf8) in a latin1 table using a UTF8 connection it reads the UTF 8 value and store it in table as \xE0 mysql> SELECT ...


Thanks for the minimal test case. Your TEXT column is declared to be latin1; there is no "dotless i", in latin1, so it was converted from utf8's hex C4B1 to ? during INSERT. Change the table declaration, preferably to utf8. Also remove SET CHARACTER SET utf8; -- It seems to hurt! If you wish to complain about the "silent" conversion, file a bug with ...

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