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What is the difference between UTF-8 and UTF-16?

John Zukowski

UTF-16 represents every character using two bytes. UTF-8 uses the one byte ASCII character encodings for ASCII characters and represents non-ASCII characters using variable-length encodings. Keep in mind that while UTF-8 can save space for Western languages, which is an argument often used by proponents, it can actually use up to three bytes per character for other languages.