What is important to one language's ear might sound insignificant to another's, and it works both ways. For this reason, I have built in the idea of fuzzy searching, whereby the search will often be able to ignore those linguistic characteristics of a word's spelling (in romaji) which might be missed by an English speaker.
For example, the capital city of Japan is not ``tokyo'', but ``toukyou''. The long vowels are very important in Japanese, yet the English speaker is used to glossing over such details as not being important to our speech.
To help the non-native speaker find words more quickly, I've implemented what I call a fuzzy search. A fuzzy search will attempt to mitigate the difficulties non-native speakers have identifying the exact Japanese.
In a fuzzy search:
to'' is considered the same as ``
too'', or ``
to-''. the presence or absence of any small tsu is ignored. the dual characters with the ji sound ($B$8(J, $B$B(J) are considered to be equal. the dual characters with the zu sound ($B$:(J, $B$E(J) are considered to be equal.
As an example, consider the fuzzy search of ``
Among other, the following will be returned:
There is a word in Japanese, $B%o!<%W%mGO(J, for someone whose kanji-writing ability has suffered due to over-reliance on the kana->kanji conversion systems used to input Japanese text on a computer. They merely need to recognize the correct kanji, so their ability to actually produce it diminishes. Don't let this kind of thing happen with your pronunciation
One note: a fuzzy search does not include certain grammatical points of aural confusion:
wa'' will not match $B$O(J (use ``
ha'' to match it)
o'' will not match $B$r(J (use ``
wo'' to match it)
e'' will not match $B$X(J (use ``
he'' to match it)
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