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 (じ, ぢ) are considered to be equal. the dual characters with the zu sound (ず, づ) 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, ワープロ馬鹿, 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 は (use ``
ha'' to match it)
o'' will not match を (use ``
wo'' to match it)
e'' will not match へ (use ``
he'' to match it)
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