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What does “[Invalid UTF-8]” error message mean? What do I do?

When setting up China Chinese Ibus pinyin Writer input in Mint 17.1 Mate, I am offered a choice of five character sets. I chose UTF-8, which I believe is the usual Unicode character set. I find that regularly, instead of inserting the characters I choose, I get “[Invalid UTF-8]” printed at that point in the file.

What does this mean? It isn’t self-explanatory. Which character set should I be using to avoid the problem? I’ll be grateful for answers.

What does “[Invalid UTF-8]” error message mean? What do I do?

When setting up China Chinese Ibus pinyin Writer input in Mint 17.1 Mate, I am offered a choice of five character sets. I chose UTF-8, which I believe is the usual Unicode character set. I find that regularly, instead of inserting the characters I choose, I get “[Invalid UTF-8]” printed at that point in the file.

What does this mean? It isn’t self-explanatory. Which character set should I be using to avoid the problem? I’ll be grateful for answers.