If an SQL Server database is configured with a collation that conflicts with the Locale of the client program, characters that can not be represented in the database's collation are turned into question marks.

Setting this variable to ON, causes all character fields, except those for date fields, to be treated as binary, storing them in the database and retrieving from the database without translation.

The default setting is OFF and means that character fields, except for date fields, will be translated.