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Most people use Hepburn romanization (I like something phonemic like Yale, better, but whatever), but different people use different systems, often just depending on what they feel like writing or even know how to write. What will happen when people start to search the site? If they search "八", will they find the questions that used はち, hachi and hati? That could be a serious issue.

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No, the system does not do any sort of automatic translation; so, if the text does not match, it will not be found in a search.

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We use Lucene.NET behind the scenes for search, so whatever it supports we can eventually do -- it may take some time for this to happen, though.

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    What kind of customization can we expect from SE for this site? Clearly the language learning SE sites will all have some form of special requirements, but I'm not certain how willing SE is to undertake them. – makdad Jun 2 '11 at 22:45

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