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For historical reasons, R translates strings to the native encoding when they are converted to symbols. This string-to-symbol conversion is not a rare occurrence and happens for instance to the names of a list of arguments converted to a call by

If the string contains unicode characters that cannot be represented in the native encoding, R serialises those as an ASCII sequence representing the unicode point. This is why Windows users with western locales often see strings looking like <U+xxxx>. To alleviate some of the pain, rlang parses strings and looks for serialised unicode points to translate them back to the proper UTF-8 representation. This transformation occurs automatically in functions like env_names() and can be manually triggered with as_utf8_character() and chr_unserialise_unicode().





A character vector.

Life cycle

This function is experimental.


ascii <- "<U+5E78>"
#> [1] "幸"

identical(chr_unserialise_unicode(ascii), "\u5e78")
#> [1] TRUE