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I have this character encoding damaged text. It's gibberish, not Chinese.

    敒剕䕇呎

    U+6552  CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-6552
    U+203A  SINGLE RIGHT-POINTING ANGLE QUOTATION MARK
    U+5255  CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-5255
    U+4547  CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-4547
    U+544E  CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-544E

I know this is the original, undamaged text.

    Re: URGENT

I've determined how the damage occurred. The original ten characters were ASCII (UTF-8), but they were mistakenly interpreted as UCS-2LE. Then they were petrified as five bogus characters (mojibake) in Unicode (UTF-8). This is essentially like what happens in the case of the infamous Bush hid the facts bug in Microsoft Notepad.

Here's the pattern.

    R   e   :       U   R   G   E   N   T
    52  65  3A  20  55  52  47  45  4E  54
    U+6552  U+203A  U+5255  U+4547  U+544E
    敒             剕      䕇      呎

How can I reverse this character encoding damage using Perl? I tried using Encode::Repair, but I couldn't get it to work. It seems to me this repair job should be easily accomplished using pack/unpack, but those two functions have always confound me. I need guidance.

UPDATE:  Here's what I've managed to cobble together. It works, but I'm not impressed. Surely there's a better way.

use v5.16;
use strict;
use warnings;
use utf8;

binmode STDOUT, ':encoding(UTF-8)';

my $damaged_text = '敒剕䕇呎';

my $repaired_text = '';

while ($damaged_text =~ m/(\X)/g) {
    my ($msb, $lsb) = unpack 'A2A2', sprintf "%04x", ord $1;
    $repaired_text .= chr(hex $lsb) . chr(hex $msb);
}

say $repaired_text; # Prints 'Re: URGENT'

(I had to use <pre> tags instead of <code> tags here because of the Chinese characters in the script.)


In reply to How to Fix Character Encoding Damaged Text Using Perl? by Jim

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