Sorry for the delay,

You are totally right. In order to get what I want I used

formated_value = Iconv.new('UTF-8', 'CP850').iconv(input.to_s)

And... It worked.

But at the end I simply used the ADODB wrapper to open my dbf file and I 
did not have any character encoding problems after that.

Thanks a lot.

Jamal Abdou-Karim Bengeloun

mortee wrote:

> When converting some accented characters to \nnn then it doesn't use any
> encoding. It just represents the verbatim non-ascii bytes it sees in the
> string it gets. Encodig/decoding happens mainly when you input accented
> chars on your keyboard, and they get converted to some byte (-sequence)
> to be stored in a string, and when those strings are displayed, and they
> are converted back to some printable characters.
> 
> Problems arise when the displaying code interprets the same string
> according to a different charset than what it was encoded according to.
> 
> For example, when you puts a string in irb, then it's your terminal's
> current charset which determines how the bytes in the string are
> actually displayed. In contrast, when you use p (or, for that matter,
> inspect), then non-ascii characters get ascaped as \nnn.
> 
> mortee

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