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Problems with nls_language

I am using Oracle9i v2 on NT, but my problem is following:

When I enter the following command on SQL*PLUS, it executes correctly:

 
 Alter session set nls_language=GERMAN; 
 select hiredate from emp; 
But when I change nls_laguage to "BENGALI" or "HINDI", the output of
 select hiredate from emp; 
displays like the following:
 HIREDATE 
 ------------ 
 17-????  -80 
 20-????? -81 
 22-????? -81 
 02-????? -81 
 28-????? -81 
 01-??    -81 
 09-???   -81 
 19-????? -87 
Why it is displying "?" marks? And how can I resolve this problem?


The reason that the question marks are displayed is that you are displaying certain characters that the current character set does not have a mapping for. Since this is a DATE datatype, make sure that you also set your NLS_DATE_FORMAT after you set your session's character set.

Another thing to be mindful of with character sets is that you can see results such as the above when you change from one character set to a different character set which is not a subset of the first. The Oracle docs for National Languages has more information.

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