I need to do some more work on my translation helper for ancient Greek. But I have a major problem to overcome. It’s all to do with accents and breathings.
These foreigners, they just don’t understand the idea of letters. Instead they insist on trying to stick things above the letters — extra dots, and quotes going left and right, little circumflexes and what have you. (In the case of the Greeks they foolishly decided to use different letters as well, but that’s another issue).
If you have a dictionary of Latin words, you can bang in “amo” and you have a reasonable chance. But if you have a dictionary of Greek, the word will have these funny accent things on it. And people get them wrong, which means that a word isn’t recognised.
Unfortunately sometimes the accents are the only thing that distinguishes two different words. Most of the time they don’t make a bit of difference.
What you want, obviously, is to search first for a perfect match. Then you want the system to search for a partial match — all the letters correct, and as many of the accents, breathings, etc as possible.
Anyone got any ideas on how to do that?
I thought about holding a table of all the words in the dictionary, minus their accents; then taking the word that I am trying to look up, stripping off its accents, and doing a search. That does work, but gives me way too many matches. I need to prune down the matches, by whatever accents I have, bearing in mind that some of them may be wrong.