convert unicode characters to visibly similar ascii characters

M.-A. Lemburg mal at
Wed Jul 2 10:39:13 CEST 2008

On 2008-07-01 20:31, Peter Bulychev wrote:
> Hello.
> I want to convert unicode character into ascii one.
> The method ".encode('ASCII') " can convert only those unicode characters,
> which fit into 0..128 range.
> But there are still lots of characters beyond this range, which can be
> manually converted to some visibly similar ascii characters. For instance,
> there are several quotation marks in unicode, which can be converted into
> ascii quotation mark.
> Can this conversion be performed in automatic manner? After googling I've
> only found that there exists Unicode database, which stores human-readable
> information on notation of all unicode characters (
> And there also exists
> the Python adapter for this database (
> Using this database I
> can do something like `if notation.find('QUOTATION')!=-1:\n\treturn "'"`. I
> believe there is more elegant way. Am I right?

You could write a codec which translates Unicode into a ASCII
lookalike characters, but AFAIK there is no standard for doing

I guess the best choice is to use the Unicode code point names
as basis. These can be accessed via You can
then create a mapping which can be processed by the character
map codec.

Marc-Andre Lemburg

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