Unicode trouble (incredibly clueless)

I bought Agile Web D. With Rails, and followed most of it’s
directions on setting up the database to accept and decipher utf-8.
Up to this point, it works wonderfully (especially for a website with
some Japanese translations) except for one problem: ruby (don’t think
it’s rail’s fault) doesn’t seem to accept Japanese letters in their

When I command, “rake db:migrate”, it gives me an error that character
“\336” in one of my migration is indecipherable. I suspect rake is
having a problem with the default value I’ve given a migration to
insert for a Japanese name. Furthermore, I need a hash to
automatically translate a few english words into japanese. Assuming
the problem resides in ruby itself, there’s no way I can make one
inside rail’s controller. Is there some way to initialize a hash with
english words as keys, and japanese words (as in, Chars objects) as
buckets outside of migration/controller/model, and import that into a

Thanks in advance!

Hello Taro,

The problem with using hiragana, karakana or kanji is that Rails will
not be able to work out what the pluralizations are. Further, I am
not sure what sort of support you will get from databases having kana
table names or column names.

Ruby is written by a Japanese guy (Matz) and it is all in English.
The reason for this I believe is that almost all programming languages
use English as a base language. I would recommend keeping your table
names and all code in the default language of English. This will also
avoid future possible bugs that come up because the new plugin you
installed only handles English table names.

If you must, you can put romanji in the table names, this would be
close enough. But then you would also need to define custom
pluralizations for all of these tables as Rails will not know what the
plural of nihonjin would be. In fact… there isn’t even a plural in
your language for that… so you might have a problem there :slight_smile:

Instead, just use JapanesePerson for your model which pluralises to
japanese_people (which would be your table name) and all will be

As a side note, I am doing a LOT of work with Japanese characters and
Rails and Ruby handle them fine! Just make sure to use ActiveSupport
Multibyte .chars method whenever you are dealing with those UTF8



Sorry, maybe I wasn’t clear enough: my model contains english names
AND japanese names (of course, in seperate columns). The trouble is,
in my migration, I want to set a certain column’s default value to a
japanese word.

I could probably do this in my model program instead. Would that work
out? Does rail model’s run even with japanese characters in them?

And, on a side note, why the heck can’t Rad Rails read unicode
charaters? Is it due to Eclipse itself?