Computer Terminology

How many bits required to represent a character?

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Answer

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Wiki User
06/01/2011

It takes 8 bits to form 1 byte which equals 1 character (255 variants are possible).

True, but some languages (eg Japanese) which use Kanji characters require more than one byte.

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It depends on the encoding your using. With the ASCII encoding (which is, more or less, "standard" in most English-speaking countries, such as the United States), each character requires 1 byte.

However, another encoding, known as "Unicode", has become increasingly prominent, even in English-speaking countries. A Unicode character requires 2 bytes to store a single character. Some programming languages are even beginning to make Unicode the default Encoding, or include some features that enables Unicode throughout a single project. Currently, the "System.String" class within the .NET Framework is made up of purely Unicode characters, with no capacity to change this without implementing some kind of a 'hack'.