OK, the the problem is definitely not in the DB, but is only related to the generation of the CVS file / Excel's ability to correctly read the file. I'm not finding much help on this on the internet.
omrison & roycegracie: I would like to know from both which version of Excel you are using, which version of Windows, and your system local/default language. I'm working on Excel 2010 and Windows 7 in US English.
FYI: to code the export, I referenced this link:
http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/ABAP/Excel+files+-+CSV+format#Excelfiles-CSVformat-HowtocreateafilefromoutsideExcel and followed this guidance to make a UTF-8 BOM CSV file:
Else, if the file starts with the bytes EF BB BF (UTF-8 Byte Order Mark, aka UTF-8 BOM), it is identified as being a text file in UTF-8 encoding
I don't know what kind of Windows or Excel setting could affect the interpretation of the file format...anyone have any ideas?
Aside: I experimented with UTF-16LE BOM and although I saw correct characters, Excel did not parse the delimiters, so everything was crammed into column A.