There is a text mode app that you can use(debconf)
From a terminal run
sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales
Follow the instructions on screen and when prompted select the languages you want
I recomment always adding the ones with unicode support(i.e your_language.utf_8) along with the other encodings for your language
then you'll be prompted to select a default, choose your favorite
as for OpenOffice, I think you need to install language support using synaptic(I assume you know how to use it) if not then it gotta be a bug in OpenOffice(I've had the same problem with spanish characters) try installing abiword from the add/remove programs tool
Last edited by j_deb; 05-17-2005 at 04:38 PM.