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unicode

unicode([object[, encoding [, errors]]])

Return the Unicode string version of object using one of the following modes:

If encoding and/or errors are given, unicode will decode the object which can either be an 8-bit string or a character buffer using the codec for encoding. The encoding parameter is a string giving the name of an encoding; if the encoding is not known, LookupError is raised. Error handling is done according to errors; this specifies the treatment of characters which are invalid in the input encoding. If errors is 'strict' (the default), a ValueError is raised on errors, while a value of 'ignore' causes errors to be silently ignored, and a value of 'replace' causes the official Unicode replacement character, U+FFFD, to be used to replace input characters which cannot be decoded. See also the [codecs][28] module.

If no optional parameters are given, unicode will mimic the behaviour of str except that it returns Unicode strings instead of 8-bit strings. More precisely, if object is a Unicode string or subclass it will return that Unicode string without any additional decoding applied.

For objects which provide a __unicode__ method, it will call this method without arguments to create a Unicode string. For all other objects, the 8-bit string version or representation is requested and then converted to a Unicode string using the codec for the default encoding in strict mode.

New in version 2.0. Changed in version 2.2: Support for __unicode__ added.