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A search for que does not show results for qué. I think this makes the site less usable--especially for Spanish beginners.

Can the search engine be modified to not be "accent-sensitive"? (Is that a real term?)

And per @Gille's suggestion in chat, sometimes accent-specific searches are important, so a necessary feature would probably be to treat quoted strings as literals.


  • "que" searches only for a literal que
  • "qué" searches only for a literal qué
  • que or qué both search for either que or qué (and quë, què, qüe, etc)


In response to comments below, my new suggestion is:

  • "que" searches only for a literal que
  • qué or "qué" searches only for a literal qué
  • que searches for any variation (que, qué, quë, qüe, etc)

Or whatever more intuitive options might be available with the available search engine.

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It may or may not be a 'real term', but I knew exactly what it meant in the title. – Andrew Barber May 22 '12 at 20:04
Too accensitive perhaps? – Kevin May 22 '12 at 20:09
"diacritically challenged" perhaps? – Mat May 22 '12 at 20:52
This is not the common best practice for spanish language search. It confuses potatos and fathers. – Rosinante May 22 '12 at 21:43
If the primary use case is really Spanish learners, the question is probably correct in proposing stripping accents. – Rosinante May 22 '12 at 23:23
@Flimzy: Google offers both variants: The results of "papas" and "papás" are entirely different. Slightly besides the point: pápa isn't proper Spanish. – Dennis May 23 '12 at 2:30
My comment addressed your comment, not your request. Both versions are good, but I actually like the initial one better.. – Dennis May 24 '12 at 0:23
Note that this was also brought up in relation to Japanese and German. – Aarthi May 24 '12 at 18:35
And is currently being discussed on Arqade in regards to Pokémon vs Pokemon – Robotnik Dec 3 '13 at 0:58

2 Answers 2

100% agree with the edited proposition. Regardless of whether its main purpose is to help students of Spanish, not everyone has a keyboard with Spanish characters on it (like myself) and I only have a few of the ascii codes for them memorized. Therefore, it should definitely be implemented; otherwise it would be too much like one having to know the answer to what they are asking before asking it.

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I totally agree! I was surprised to see that a friend didn't find me on Stackoverflow just because of my first name that contains an accent.

I'm sure that users are coming from a lot of different countries and for example, spanish or french communities are very concerned by this problem.

Searching for information about an user can be affected by this accent-sensitivity and today, as a developer, it's very important to be as visible as possible on such kind of platform. A lot of recruiters browse the web to get info (Github, Stackoverflow,...) and it can be a decisive advantage for some jobs.

Hope that this feedback will help this topic.

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