Unable to encode characters in PHP (Incorrect string value)

I want to encode Danish characters before sending them to database.

I try to apply this function to them:

private function process_array_elements(&$element){
   $element = utf8_encode($element);
   $element = strip_tags(  $element );
   $element = strtolower ( trim ( $element )  );
   $element = mysql_real_escape_string($element);
   return $element;

Like this:

$this->check_line_two = $this->process_array_elements($e);

Now, whenever I try to send the string to the database:

mysql_query("SET NAMES 'utf8'");
$query="INSERT INTO  result_scanned
          SET line_one= '$this->check_line_one',

I get this:

 Incorrect string value: '\xE3\x83\xE2\xB8r ...' for column 'line_three' at row 1

The datatype of the fields in the table are UTF-8 (utf8_unicode_ci), so I must encode my string using the same

This thread is related to my question: Detect encoding and make everything UTF-8.

However, I need to know how to encode any character to UTF-8, before inserting it to the database, otherwise, I get an error as the one aforementioned. I think I need to identify first what kind of characters I am receiving before putting them into database.


utf8_unicode_ci is the collation, you need the character set as utf8 as well:


For good measure, make sure that everything is UTF-8 when connecting to MySQL with PHP:

mysql_connect ("localhost", "DB_USER", "DB_PASSWORD") or die (mysql_error());
mysql_select_db ("DATABASE_NAME") or die (mysql_error());

mysql_query("SET character_set_client=utf8"); 
mysql_query("SET character_set_connection=utf8"); 
mysql_query("SET character_set_database=utf8"); 
mysql_query("SET character_set_results=utf8"); 
mysql_query("SET character_set_server=utf8"); 
mysql_query("SET NAMES 'utf8'");

This is how I connect on the Hebrew gibberish translation website I run, and it handles everything that myself or that users throw at it.

Incorrect string value: '\xE3\x83\xE2\xB8r ...' for column

I only get this error when i use strtolower

My database and collation are all UTF-8 and have no problems with characters across the board. I have a language database table that handles Japanese, Russian, Chinese etc. without any issues. This error only popped up when i tried strtolower

You need to use PHP's mb_strtolower when working with uni-code characters

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