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mysql collation help needed

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I need help understanding the way mysql collations are supposed to work. I use latin1_german2_ci for all settings (connection, collation, etc). This page (http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.0/en/charset-we-sets.html) says that latin1_german2_ci translates between German umlauts and their counterparts. (ü=ue, ä=ae, ö=oe). The part I don't understand is, if this will only work for sorting results or if mysql is supposed to return strings that contain "ae" if I run a search on "ä" too. Im not sure if I'm doing something wrong or if collations are only important for sorting results.

Any help appreciated.


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