Re: Searching Special Characters

From: Edward H. Trager (
Date: Thu Nov 04 2004 - 11:41:14 CST

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    > From: Ray Mullan
    > To:
    > Sent: Wednesday, November 03, 2004 23:49
    > Subject: Searching Special Characters
    > Dear All,
    > <>Is it possible to write an escape in some form or map special characters to
    standard Latin approximations whereby the search engine can be told to read an
    NCR such as &#x011F; (g-breve) as the standard latin g? I'm working on a website
    with english pages containing Turkish nouns and phrases but I'm concerned that
    browsers with conventional Western keyboards will not be able to search these terms.

    Why not simply have a little table on the web page containing the
    set of extended Latin characters used in modern Turkish orthography?
    Clicking on one of the extended latin characters would insert that
    character as the next character in the string of characters entered
    already into the search box.

    In this way, users with a QWERTY or any other Latin keyboard layout
    enabled could type the majority of the letters just using their default
    Latin keyboard layout, and resort to clicking the mouse over letters
    in the table only if needed for letters like "ş", "ü", or "ğ".

    I took exactly this kind of approach in an online Chinese dictionary
    I designed. While many speakers of Chinese (both students and native
    speakers) are familiar with the pinyin (拼音) system of romanization
    used in Mainland China, people educated in Taiwan often don't know
    pinyin but do know the zhu yin fu hao (注音符號) phonetics. In order
    to make searching by phonetic pronounciation available to the widest
    audience of Chinese speakers possible, I therefore incorporated a
    table of the zhu yin fu hao (注音符號) phonetics (also known as
    "bo po mo fo") on the web page. The online dictionary is encoded
    using UTF-8. CSS and DOM-based Javascript are used extensively.
      You are welcome to take a look at it to see if a
    similar approach would work for your project:

        Online Traditional and Simplified Chinese-English Dictionary

     - Ed Trager
       Kellogg Eye Center
       University of Michigan
       Ann Arbor

    > <>
    > <>Any suggestions would be very welcome.
    > Ray Mullan

    ----- End forwarded message -----

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