I have a list of files with names written in what seems to be a written in VISCII or some East Asian format (I know the language is Vietnamese). I want to use iconv to convert the filenames to UTF-8 but don't know what the current character set is. I've tried a few options and have gotten errors with iconv.

Here are some examples in the list of files:

1 2 3 CHIA ðÈI LÈýI V-¦_(831641).mid CON ð¦i¦NG CHUýNG TA ðI_(829013).mid HAÌY SÈýNG CU¦NG TI¦NH Y-U_(830818) M-Y TI¦NH Y-U_(830639).mid NG¦i¦I CHI-ýN SIÌ -ýY_(830491).mid SAO CH¦A TH-ýY HȦI -M (A)_(829702).mid TR-N MAÊNH ð-ýT TI¦NH NG¦i¦I_(829041).mid

Conversion is supposed to turn out like this:

1 2 3 chia ðÈI LÈýI V-¦.mid


1 2 3 chia đôi lối về.mid

What is the best way to find the encoding? I've tried from VISCII, cp936, cp1258 to UTF-8 but nothing works.

FYI: I've installed the Vietnamese language pack and it seems to be working for some programs but for file explorer in Windows 10, it's not working. I'm thinking maybe change the default font to something that allows the character set, but I'd have to hack the registry in Windows 10.

  • you should upload one of the files. Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 5:04
  • @David Dai It's not the content of the files I'm converting, I just want to change the filenames (files are MIDI format).
    – PGT
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 5:05

1 Answer 1


I had to download the Vietnamese language pack in Windows 10's Language and Region settings.

Threw me off because all the files were zipped up. I unzipped them before the language pack was installed, so all the filenames were converted from UTF-16 (or one of the East Asian encodings) to UTF-8 (which I don't think includes the Vietnamese character set) permanently.

I then installed the Vietnamese language pack, so when opening the files, the contents were read correctly with the proper character set, but the filenames remained the same.

All I had to do was delete the first unzip batch and unzip again and the proper character set was used.

Not entirely sure what happened behind the scenes, so can't offer a technical explanation but hopefully my high-level explanation helps someone in the future.

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