Originally Posted by hvulin
Make sure you set LANG variable to en_US.utf-8 and possibly LC_ALL and make sure you have the right fonts installed and used. After you do this and logout, login check the output of locale command...
I tried all of these (and dpkg-reconfigure locales) before posting the query.
The hard facts are:
1. Midnight Commander (which I like and use routinely) does not support utf-8 and turns into a mess when loaded in a utf-8 environment;
2. vim - in a utf-8 environment - offers many hundreds of additional digraphs; but the few digraphs, that I occasionally need (for French or German words), have become difficult to find.
3. After the change to the utf-8 locale, my man pages are littered with unreadable characters.
Given that utf locales are likely to become the default option, I posted the initial query to forestall future headaches. For the present, I can live with complaints that are posted to the console, but cannot live with an unusable Midnight Commander and messed-up man-pages.
I will be grateful for any other advice that will help me to prepare for an unwelcome future.