Unicode is a universal international standard character encoding that is capable of representing most of the world’s written languages.
Why java uses Unicode System? Before Unicode, there were many language standards:
- ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) for the United States.
- ISO 8859-1 for Western European Language.
- KOI-8 for Russian.
- GB18030 and BIG-5 for chinese, and so on.
Problem: This caused two problems:
- A particular code value corresponds to different letters in the various language standards.
- The encodings for languages with large character sets have variable length.Some common characters are encoded as single bytes, other require two or more byte.
Solution: To solve these problems, a new language standard was developed i.e. Unicode System. In unicode, character holds 2 byte, so java also uses 2 byte for characters.