Why can’t read german umlauts from a .txt file?

I need to read german text from a file and translate it into ascii-numbers. Of course it contains german umlauts ‘ä’, ‘ö’, ‘ü’ and the character ‘ß’ as well. After using fscanf my resulting string contains only the ‘?’, where these chars were. Changing the encoding in Matlab doesn’t work. Is it an issue with my operating system Mac OS? Here is a simple example:

fileID = fopen('text.txt','r');
string = fscanf(fileID,'%s');

and the content of my text.txt for testing:

Lorem ipösum dolor! sit am?et, consüetetur{ sadip$sciäng e&litr, sßed.

All the other special characters are read fine. The result is

string =    loremip?sumdolor!sitam?et,cons?etetur{sadip$sci?nge&litr,s?ed.

P.S. The removement of white space is alright in my application.


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I tried reproducing the issue that you are facing but I was able to successfully read all the german umlauts from the .txt file. In my case,

string =Loremipösumdolor!sitam?et,consüetetur{sadip$sciänge&litr,sßed.

I am using MATLAB R2016b on a Windows 10 machine. Your issue seems to be related to your operating system.




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