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Composing Non-English Headers

Although you have seen how MIME can encode message body parts with base-64 to allow 8-bit data to pass through, that does not solve the problem of special characters in headers. For instance, if your name was Michael Müller (with an umlaut over the “u”), you would have trouble representing your name accurately in your own alphabet. The “u” would come out bare. Therefore, MIME provides a way to encode data in headers. Take a look at mime_headers.pyfor how to do it in Python.

from email.mime.text import MIMEText
from email.header import Header

message = """Hello,

This is a test message .

-- Anonymous"""

msg = MIMEText(message)
msg['To'] = '[email protected]'
fromhdr = Header()
fromhdr.append(u"Michael M\xfcller")
fromhdr.append('<[email protected]>')
msg['From'] = fromhdr
msg['Subject'] = 'Test Message'

print msg.as_string()

The code '\xfc' in the Unicode string (strings in Python source files that are prefixed with u can contain arbitrary Unicode characters, rather than being restricted to characters whose value is between 0 and 255).

root@erlerobot:~/Python_files# python
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
To: [email protected]
From: =?iso-8859-1?q?Michael_M=FCller?= <[email protected]>
Subject: Test Message
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:46:33 +0200
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
This is a test message.
-- Anonymous