Does "endian-ness" apply to UTF-8 characters that use multiple bytes?

James Tauber via Unicode unicode at
Mon Feb 4 14:27:00 CST 2019

Endian-ness only affects ordering of bytes within a code unit.

Because UTF-8 has single byte code units, the order is not affected by
endian-ness, only the UTF-8 bit mapping itself.

Note also that endian-ness only affects individual 16-bit code units in
UTF-16. If you have a surrogate pair, endian-ness doesn't effect the
ordering of each 16-bit unit that makes up the pair, only the two bytes
within each of the units.


On Mon, Feb 4, 2019 at 2:25 PM Costello, Roger L. via Unicode <
unicode at> wrote:

> Hello Unicode Experts!
> As I understand it, endian-ness applies to multi-byte words.
> Endian-ness does not apply to ASCII characters because each character is a
> single byte.
> Endian-ness does apply to UTF-16BE (Big-Endian), UTF-16LE (Little-Endian),
> UTF-32BE and UTF32-LE because each character uses multiple bytes.
> Clearly endian-ness does not apply to single-byte UTF-8 characters. But
> what about UTF-8 characters that use multiple bytes, such as the character
> é, which uses two bytes C3 and A9; does endian-ness apply? For example, if
> a file is in Little Endian would the character é appear in a hex editor as
> A9 C3 whereas if the file is in Big Endian the character é would appear in
> a hex editor as C3 A9?
> /Roger

*James Tauber*
Eldarion <> | (Greek Linguistics)
<> | Modelling Music
<> | Digital
Tolkien <>
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