I Can't Read International Characters From Another Mac


I can't read the special characters in a MS Word document sent by another mac user. She has placed them using the Character Palette.
She has used a standard font (Verdana) so I don't think that's the problem.

I'm using os10.4.2, she's using 10.3.9.
We are both using MS Office 2004 but I'm not using Entourage – I'm using Thunderbird.

She has emailed it to another mac user, on 10.4, who has opened it with all the formatting intact so I can only assume it's my system.
I do use Suitcase x1 but I've disabled it but still have the same problem.

Does anyone know what the problem might be?

I would say that my technical level is 'high end user' (graphic designer – definitely not a technician)