Computer used to support only ASCII characters during early ages of computing. ACSII is a set of 127 English characters. 8bit signed character set can range from -128 to 127. This set contains special characters and 127 ACSII characters.
This set is very limited and can support only English language and with some special characters some set of European languages. These character set is not enough to support entire set of languages available around the world.
Scientists came with UNICODE standard. UNICODE is an international encoding standard for use with different languages and scripts, by which each letter, digit, or symbol is assigned a unique numeric value that applies across different platforms and programs.
UNICODE character holds 2 bytes per character and often known as wide character in programming world. Lower byte of the word contains ASCII index and upper byte contains language identity. We should not use standard string functions available in C library to handle UNICODE strings. UNICODE supported C compiler expose a set of wide character functions similar to string and stdio functions. These functions often prefix with "w" like wprintf, wscanf, wscanf, wsprintf etc.
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