shamelessly copied fromhttp://linux.seindal.dk/2004/08/07/gnu-emacs-and-utf-8-locale/
I recently wanted to shift to a UTF-8 locale, because I wanted to play with stuff like writing in Arabic, and because it seems to be the road forward.
So I switched and GNU Emacs starts to enter garbage in my buffers. I type “
������ ��“, but Emacs gives me “
æøå��� éí�“. Ever so slightly less useful, and less readable too.
I tried fiddling with “Options | Mule | Language Environments” and “Options | Mule | Set Coding System”, but to no avail.
Somewhat deluded I gave up and went back to Latin 1, mostly at least. Every once in a while I tried again, and one day I stumbled over a reference to the Emacs file
etc/PROBLEMS, a section on problems with UTF-8 support in GNU Emacs. Unfortunately the section was gone from my copy, but I found it on the net.
The solution to all my problems: add the following lines to
(setq locale-coding-system 'utf-8)
The problem went away and haven’t been seen since.
BTW, I’m using GNU Emacs 21.3.1, installed from Debian testing and unstable (tried them both).