See character encoding.
Adobe Glossary of typographic terms
An encoding is a mapping from a set of bytes onto a character set. It is what determines which byte sequence represents which character. The words encoding and character set are often used synonymously. The specification for ASCII specifies both a character set and an encoding. But CJK character sets often have multiple encodings for the character set (and multiple character sets for some encodings).In more complicated cases it is possible to have multiple glyphs associated with each character (as in arabic where most characters have at least 4 different glyphs) and the client program must pick the appropriate glyph for the character in the current context.
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