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emacs, umlauts, x-windows text mark and paste

From: josh buhl
Subject: emacs, umlauts, x-windows text mark and paste
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2003 09:36:34 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.4; MultiZilla v1.4.0.4A) Gecko/20031107 Debian/1.5-3


When I mark text in some other application that contains non-ascii characters, e.g. in mozilla from a german webpage containing ö ä ü ß, and paste it into an emacs buffer, than all the special characters get shown as control sequences. Here's an example:

I mark this text in mozilla:

Soße wird in einer extra Soßenschüssel...

Paste it into my Emacs buffer and get this:

So\x{00DF}e wird in einer extra So\x{00DF}ensch\x{00FC}ssel...


1. how can I get this to work properly?

2. which command could I execute in emacs to get it to switch the encoding of the current buffer, or whatever, so that the garbled characters magically get converted to what they're supposed to be?

3. why is this like this?

I've struggled with this problem _for years_ and never have found an easy solution. I'm running emacs 21.3.1 on debian testing under gnome 2.4 with english as the default language environment. I do know that if I log out, and log in setting the session language to german, then I can cut an paste german text into an emacs buffer with no problem. However, it's not enough to set the LANG variable: if I open a terminal, set LANG=german or de, and start emacs, it still doesn't work.

I've read the mule section in the emacs manual about ten times, but never have been able to make heads or tails of it.

If anybody can help me clear up this problem I'd really appreciate it!


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