Feature suggestion: language-independent search


I have been working on a projet with thousands of documents written in different languages, mainly French and English. Every time I need to search for a word or concept — e.g. “city” or “music” — I have to search twice or sometimes three times, replacing the previous words with their usual translation, “ville” and “musique” (or entering name:ville or city).

It would be so much easier if DT could use an option and do a quick dictionary lookup — either using the Mac built-in dictionary or a custom one — and give results in two or more languages, based on user options.

It could even be integrated into the current search syntax, e.g. “name:music” for a normal search and “name@:music” for a language-independent search, which would return all documents with “musique” in their titles as well.

Extending this to work with proper verb conjugations or noun declensions would probably be an entire AI project in itself, but I believe even a simple, limited noun-only dictionary would be a great help.

Also, this could include custom user dictionaries, for example when searching for people which have their names spelled in different ways, instead of having to regularly type something like: name:dewinter or “de winter” or devinter or “de vinter” (it happens).

AFAIK this isn’t handled by the “fuzzy” search logic of DT, although perhaps it could.


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The request is noted, but it certainly would not be trivial to implement.

And no, fuzzy searching does not do this.

BTW, I just noticed I wrote “working on a projet” instead of “project” above. This is the sort of thing that happens when you’re working with two languages simultaneously, and DT would be a great help here.

And one last example for the use of a custom dictionary search, apart from misspelled name, imagine a basic user definition akin to what aliases currently do in DT: “president,FDR,Roosevelt,commander-in-chief”. This would make searching much more helpful. These could even be exported, imported and shared between users.

Thank you for your consideration of this. I know it’s not trivial to implement but I figured you guys would enjoy a challenge :slight_smile: