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(I hope this isn't too dumb a question) When I go to this Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Phonetic_Alphabet

These 'special' phoenetic characters, such as 'ŋ' render correctly in my browser. However, when I try to use characters such as 'ŋ' in my very own website they render like this: 'Å‹'.

What I have tried so far: I found this code from the wikipedia source: <span title="Representation in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)" class="IPA">ŋ</span> but it still renders as 'Å‹'.

In fact in this very question it is rendering correctly, what method should I use to correctly render characters like these?

  • Are you using Cufon or any font type replacement scripts? and what font are you using if not? – Vince Pettit Feb 29 '12 at 16:08
  • This is one of my blind spots, I'll admit. I'm just using default. (Font not specified) – Adjam Feb 29 '12 at 16:09
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This - http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/international/bylanguage/ipachart.html - might be of help.

If you use the code in HTML it should render properly on the front end.

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    Just tested this, and it works perfectly. Tons of special characters are on the site you linked to on a single page, which makes for easy searching. Thank you – Adjam Feb 29 '12 at 16:18
  • No problems, glad to be of help :) – Vince Pettit Feb 29 '12 at 16:21
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A number of things need to be in place for this to work properly.

First of all your page needs to say which text encoding it is using. You need this at the top if you haven't already:

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />

The website user then needs to have a font installed which can display that character. You have no control over that, without getting into font embedding.

  • Thanks for your answer. Vinces suggestion actually did work on my machine without specifying character encoding, however I know that it would be beneficial for my site to define which character set I will be using, and will make use of this code. – Adjam Feb 29 '12 at 16:30
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    The other advantage to using real unicode characters over character entities, of course, is that you can actually see the character when you edit your HTML later. With entities, you need to go look up the character to find out what it is. Personally, I hate viewing HTML full of character entities - it just breaks my reading flow. The only exceptions I make are characters that are very easily confused: various dashes and, of course, different forms of whitespace. The one advantage of entities is that they're portable across editors. – Bobby Jack Feb 29 '12 at 18:49
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    @paulmorriss: you also need to ensure you save your text file with the correct encoding – Bobby Jack Feb 29 '12 at 18:50
  • That's probably the underlying problem, which is why using entities works. – paulmorriss Mar 1 '12 at 11:42

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