We use ogr2ogr to dump data from an old production Oracle server to a development PostgreSQL server. From developer Windows laptop everything works as intended, but from a Windows server the umlauts (or scandinavian letters) transform into non-umlauts.

For example, ä becomes an a. Parameters to ogr2ogr include mainly --config PG_USE_COPY YES. The GDAL versions match on both the laptop and the server (3.4.1), as do code pages (850). This happens before we run latin1 to UTF-8 transformations to the generated file or any other transformations.

We have tried suggestions that have worked for many users, for example SET PGCLIENTENCODING=latin1 and other encodings as well. I have also tried setting NLS_LANG but setting that environment variable only causes ogr2ogr to quit with error - this is the only change in the situation we have managed to get.

This is very confusing since it's not a normal encoding problem where umlauts turn into gibberish or vanish altogether. Something seemingly intentionally transforms the umlauts to their plain form and we have no idea what's causing this.

  • 1
    Character set issues are very common with Oracle. I suggest you focus on the Oracle side of this issue, not with PostgreSQL changes.
    – Vince
    Aug 16, 2022 at 11:26
  • 1
    Also problems are common with windows, maybe try removing that from the equation too.
    – Ian Turton
    Aug 16, 2022 at 16:33

1 Answer 1


The solution was to install Finnish language pack to the server and to change all language-related settings to Finnish.

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