MySQL treats ÅÄÖ as AAO?

Yes, this is standard behaviour in the non-language-specific unicode collations. Unicode Character Sets

To further illustrate, the following equalities hold in both utf8_general_ci and utf8_unicode_ci (for the effect this has in comparisons or when doing searches, see Section, “Examples of the Effect of Collation”):

Ä = A
Ö = O
Ü = U

See also Examples of the effect of collation

You need to either

  • use a collation that doesn’t have this “feature” (namely utf8_bin, but that has other consequences)

  • use a different collation for the query only. This should work:

     select * from topics where name="Harligt" COLLATE utf8_bin;

it becomes more difficult if you want to do a case insensitive LIKE but not have the Ä = A umlaut conversion. I know no mySQL collation that is case insensitive and does not do this kind of implicit umlaut conversion. If anybody knows one, I’d be interested to hear about it.


  • Looking for case insensitive MySQL collation where “a” != “ä”
  • MYSQL case sensitive search for utf8_bin field

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