Python encoding question

Dave Angel davea at
Fri Feb 25 13:50:44 CET 2011

On 01/-10/-28163 02:59 PM, Marc Muehlfeld wrote:
> Hi,
>   <snip>
> TEST = cursor.fetchone()
> print TEST[0]
> print TEST
> When I run this script It prints me:
> München
> ('M\xc3\xbcnchen',)
> Why is the Umlaut of TEST[0] printed and not from TEST?

When you print a string, it simply prints it, control characters, 
international characters, and all.

When you print a more complex object, it's up to that object to decide 
how to print.  In the case of a tuple above, the tuple logic displays 
the parentheses and the comma, but calls the repr() of any objects it 
contains.  Tuple doesn't make a special case for strings, or for 
numbers, it just always calls repr()   (actually it's __repr__(), I think)

A list does the same thing, though it'll use square brackets at the ends.

So the question boils down to what repr() does.  It attempts to create a 
representation that could be used to create the specific object.  So if 
there's a newline, it uses \n.  And if there are non-ASCII codes, it 
uses hex escape sequences.  And of course it adds the quote marks.


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