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Conflict Between Unicode and Greek Orthography

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Best Practice

In Greek there may be accent marks that denote in which syllable you put the stress on when pronnouncing a word. However, when words are written in UPPERCASE, those accent marks are removed.

Example 1: Excel (VBA) conversion of the Greek word for materials:

A1 = 'υλικά'.


Example 2: Google Translate conversion of the word "MATERIALS" to Greek:


SAP Practice

Example: In ABAP you get this conversion of the Greek word for "materials":

lv_greek_material = 'υλικά'.

TRANSLATE lv_greek_material TO UPPER CASE.

WRITE lv_greek_material.

* result: ΥΛΙΚΆ

In incident 0000032619 / 2016 I inform SAP that the accent marks normally must be removed when converting texts to upper case. SAP answers: "I think google translator is wrong in that case... The Unicode standard defines that Greek small letters with diacritics must be transformed to capital letters with diacritics. There is no removal of diacritics in touuper. The removal is regarded as a translitaration or a transformation, which cannot be applied to standard transactions. Besides many Greek customers are happy with the current situation."

Please Reply

  • Is Google Translate wrong?
  • Is MS Excel wrong?
  • Are you happy by sending Greek uppercase characters with accent marks to external customers in Greece?
  • What do you do to provide correct Greek uppercase texts to external customers?

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Official answer from the highest authority in the world, I can imagine: SAP doesn't support conversions to uppercase correctly for Greek characters:

I expect to end this discussion by a new OSS note.