Setting non-US Keyboard:
First install the missing packages :
apt-get install console-data apt-get install console-tools
and you can set the keyboard map. Remember that the keyboard map nets not only to match your actual keyboard Layout but also the keyboard-map set in your windows control-panel and in case of 32-bit-windows that of language set for 16-bit applications.
Setting the keyboard map will enable you to copy-and-paste into the console including the correct special characters.
for french :
MassTranslated on 25 Dec 2004.
MassTranslated on Sun Apr 23 17:35:49 UTC 2006