Emails in Non-Latin Character Sets Do Not Display Correctly


Emails in Non-Latin Character Sets Do Not Display Correctly

Emails written in non-Latin character sets, such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Arabic, appear as seemingly random characters. question marks, or blocks when viewed by the recipient.

By default, SmarterMail webmail and many popular mail programs try to send messages in a character encoding that supports only Latin. Our mail servers are fully capable of transmitting mail in any character set if the encoding is set correctly in the sending mail client.

The mail client software that is being used to send the mail will need to be reconfigured to use a character encoding that is compatible with the script in which the mail is written. Refer to the table below to determine which encoding to use.

To set encoding in SmarterMail webmail:
  1. Log into your webmail account.
  2. Click Setting > Account Settings.
  3. Click on the Compose tab.
  4. Change the Text Encoding value to the correct encoding from the table below. Always try UTF-8 first.
For other mail clients such as Outlook, please refer to the help/manual for your mail client to set the encoding for composed mail.

Table of Character Encodings


Language/script Encoding (in order of preference)


Always try to use this option if it is available; it is always the best choice.

UTF-8, UTF-16, UTF-7
Arabic (any language using Arabic alphabet) Windows-1256, ISO 8859-6
Chinese (Simplified) GB18030, any other encoding beginning with "GB"
Chinese (Traditional/Taiwan/Hong Kong) Big5, Big5-HKSCS to resolve issues with Cantonese
Cyrillic KOI8-R (Russian)/KOI8-U (Ukrainian), CP866, Windows-1251
Japanese ISO-2022-JP, EUC-JP, Shift-JIS/SJIS
Korean EUC-KR
Polish ISO 8859-2/ISO Latin 2

Note: If correcting your character encoding before sending mail still results in unreadable mail, the recipient may need to also set the correct view encoding within their mail client or browser. They may also need to install the required fonts or language support software on their computer.

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