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UTF8 TO ASCII US-ASCII transliterations of Unicode text Ported Sean M. Burke's Text::Unidecode Perl module http://search.cpan.org/~sburke/Text-Unidecode-0.04/ http://interglacial.com/~sburke/ Use is simple; <?php require_once '/path/to/utf8_to_ascii/utf8_to_ascii.php'; $utf8 = file_get_contents('/tmp/someutf8.txt'); $ascii = utf8_to_ascii($utf8); ?> Some notes; - Make sure you provide is well-formed UTF-8! http://phputf8.sourceforge.net/#UTF_8_Validation_and_Cleaning - For European languages, it should replace Unicode character with corresponding ascii characters and produce a readable result. For other languages, the results will be less meaningful - it's a "dumb" character for character replacement True trasliteration is a little more complex than this; See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transliteration - For any characters for which there's no replacement character available, a (default) '?' will be inserted. The second argument can be used to define an alternative replacement char - Don't panic about all the files in the db subdirectory - they are not all loaded at once - in fact they are only loaded if they are needed to convert a given character (i.e. which files get loaded depends on the input) For a little more see; http://www.sitepoint.com/blogs/2006/03/03/us-ascii-transliterations-of-unicode-text/