9.8 Multilingualization (m17n)
Localization (l10n), Section 9.7 enabled by
language-env package and alike are aimed to achieve monolingual
localization. These packages also use traditional encodings as the choice for
the text encoding. You cannot mix French and Japanese text in such environment
since they use incompatible ISO-8859-1 and EUC-JP encodings respectively.
You can obtain multilingualized UTF-8 Desktop using Gnome and KDE programs
started under one of the available UTF-8 locales. (Sarge) In such environment,
you can mix English, Chinese, Russian, and Japanese characters under UTF-8
m17n-env is a helper script to set up such environment. The
multilingualized UTF-8 environment is configured by running
set-m17n-env command from the root and the user account. 
Under such environment, new multilingualized input method (IM) using
scim is preferred. IM offered by the
scim is turned
on and off by typing Ctrl-Space together. The input conversion engine can be
switched by clicking small SCIM panel.
You can still have easy access to the traditional encoding environment through
the custom locale consoles created by
m17n-env. This comes handy
when you need to edit old EUC-JP or ISO-8859-1 encoded files.