Inconsistencies within the Database?

Hello! I apologize in advance for how lengthy this is, but I’d love to hear some feedback!! I wanted to talk about the inconsistency of database entries when it comes to special characters (such as é or ï)

Basically, there are three categories of entries for names that traditionally include special characters:

  1. There are two entries, one with the traditional spelling, and one missing the special characters. You can see this with [name_m]Aurélien[/name_m] / [name_m]Aurelien[/name_m], [name_f]Ophélie[/name_f] / [name_f]Ophelie[/name_f], [name_m]Junípero[/name_m] / [name_m]Junipero[/name_m], [name_m]Sigurður[/name_m] / [name_m]Sigurdur[/name_m]. It should be noted that these entries don’t link to each other (as far as I can tell!)

  2. There is only one entry for the name, without the special characters traditionally used for the name. For example: the [name_u]French[/name_u] Léonide. It doesn’t exist on the database, but the spelling that’s missing the accent, [name_m]Leonide[/name_m], does. Other examples include [name_u]Zivka[/name_u] (in real life, spelt Živka), [name_m]Antonin[/name_m] (Antonín), [name_f]Marketa[/name_f] (Markéta), [name_u]Elisee[/name_u] (Élisée), and [name_m]Lucjan[/name_m] (Łucjan).

  3. There is only one entry for the name, with the special characters traditionally used for the name. One example is [name_f]Zsófia[/name_f], which does have an entry, while an entry for “Zsofia” doesn’t exist. Other entries like this include [name_m]Dražen[/name_m], [name_f]Aistė[/name_f], [name_f]Květa[/name_f], [name_m]Siôr[/name_m], [name_f]Austėja[/name_f] and [name_m]Thorbjörn[/name_m]. You can only find them if you directly type the special characters in the search bar, and there is no entry for, say, Thorbjorn without the ö. [name_m]Thorbjörn[/name_m] will not show up by typing Thorbjorn.

You can imagine why this would get a bit confusing and challenging! You don’t know how you should be typing a name to find it. It makes the database difficult to navigate and makes name pronunciations confusing or even inaccurate. For example: By looking at Łucjan, you can tell that the name is probably not pronounced with an [name_f]English[/name_f] L sound. But by looking at [name_m]Lucjan[/name_m], you’d be misled into thinking that it is, especially since a lot of these entries don’t have pronunciations listed. And if you want to look for the entry for Łucjan, it’s impossible to know if you should be typing Łucjan or [name_m]Lucjan[/name_m] in the search box, because there’s no consistency in regards to how entries are made.

[name_m]Marshall[/name_m] (@the_common_fool) and I enquired about the use of special characters in [name_u]August[/name_u], basically asking if it would be possible to make it so that by typing, for example, [name_f]Heloise[/name_f] into the search bar, it still makes [name_f]Héloïse[/name_f] show up! The admin at the time kindly mentioned that she would ask the technical team about it, but I’m not sure if she ever got the opportunity to do that. If it is possible, I think it’d be an incredible change and it would solve a lot of issues!

Personally, I strongly believe that special characters should be included in names’ entries, it’s just the way the database works now that makes it inconvenient. Most people won’t know that they have to use an ė if they want to find [name_f]Rusnė[/name_f] in the database, and that typing “Rusne” won’t yield any results. It sucks especially because most of these names (that only exist under entries with special characters) are very new additions to the database. Sadly, they end up getting buried because of how hard it is to search for them, instead of being showcased!

[name_f]My[/name_f] suggestion would be to make double entries for names with special characters, the way that there is both an [name_m]Aurélien[/name_m] and an [name_m]Aurelien[/name_m], but note the “real” spelling somewhere in the description or info box! And/or maybe have a direct link to the entry that uses the original spelling. Another option would be to only have entries with the traditional spelling, but for this to work you’d need to be able to find the names by typing them in the search bar without using special characters. To be clear, these are just some ideas, and I’m by no means trying to tell anyone what to do! Especially since I don’t have as much insight into how the database works as others! But I hope that by starting the conversation I’ve managed to be of help or inspire some ideas :yellow_heart: Thanks so much if you read all this!


i definitely agree, and i would love to see either of the changes you mentioned go into effect! i’m a big fan of your suggestion of only having entries with the traditional spelling, and typing the name without the special characters would link to the traditional spelling. if that’s technically possible, i think it would be great!


thank you !! i agree that, if possible, it would be ideal :yellow_heart:

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[name_u]Happy[/name_u] to see this topic spotlighted again! as you acknowledged, admins typically have full plates, but I agree this is an important issue to look into and reiterate.

I’d also be keen to see if either of these ideas are possible!

It would be great for names with their traditional/proper spellings to be accessible even when searched without special characters. That way anyone using keyboards without those special characters can still find their way to correct spellings.

[name_m]Even[/name_m] if those suggestions aren’t possible due to database constraints, I’d be more than willing to help brainstorm other possibilities :slightly_smiling_face: Thank you to admins already looking into this! :black_heart:


great point !!

absolutely, and the same goes for me! much love to the admins - i appreciate them greatly and i’m sure the community would love to help them out with issues like this!

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I agree. Though the database has never been a particularly reliable source. It’s worth noting that [name_m]Antonin[/name_m] is the correct spelling of the name in [name_u]French[/name_u]. And [name_m]Lucjan[/name_m] is definitely a real name, and pronounced with an L. This spelling is currently charting #103 in Poland, while Łucjan isn’t.

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Thanks! Yeah, the reason why I considered [name_m]Antonin[/name_m] “incorrect” is because the entry explicitly lists it as Czech, not as [name_u]French[/name_u], but that’s good to know about [name_m]Lucjan[/name_m]!


Yes, @katinka did this for [name_m]Väinö[/name_m] / [name_m]Vaino[/name_m] after I requested the entry to be amended, and it seems like a fairly eloquent solution! Although quite labour intensive for the staff but if we can flag up examples in the database entries to be amended thread, the community could do some of the leg work?

I would love if there was a more fuzzy search too though, so that variant spellings of the same name would also come up.


I think this is a great suggestion if feasible for the staff! It does seem like a large task - perhaps something that could be chipped away at rather than a big dramatic change, if implemented? If there’s anything we can do to help I’m sure many of us would be willing :slightly_smiling_face:

I do think that also keeping the entries WITHOUT special characters would not only help improve access when typing, but also reflect variations for countries that do not allow for names to be spelt with special characters etc. For example, in my country and some others, you would have to be legally [name_m]Aurelien[/name_m] not [name_m]Aurélien[/name_m] due to an inability to register diacritical marks. So having an [name_m]Aurelien[/name_m] AND [name_m]Aurélien[/name_m] page would be useful for accurate statistics (not that it ranks currently but you get the gist).

I like the suggestion of having both terms be searchable to the same page but unsure how that might work. I must admit it’s exciting to brainstorm possible solutions with you all :sweat_smile:


this makes a lot of sense !! i like both solutions - maybe it’s better to record a version both with and without special characters (aurelien/aurélien) given that in many places that don’t allow special characters to be used officially, children are given those names without the traditional characters, accidentally creating new variants. as long as those descriptions clearly mentioned/linked to the correct spellings with the special characters !!


Thanks @Luminen @Archer27 @rosepip I definitely agree!! I also think it’d be a lovely idea to help the NB team as much as we can by compiling these names in the “names you’d like to see amended” thread when we do notice them!

You make a great point about [name_m]Aurelien[/name_m] - although I wonder if it may be a case-by-case scenario? For example, it definitely makes sense for [name_f]Ophelie[/name_f] to have an entry, but something like Živka is almost never used outside of the countries where Ž is allowed as a character, so I don’t know if [name_u]Zivka[/name_u] should need an entry, If that makes sense! But I’m not sure, I get the appeal of both approaches!

Thank you again for participating with your ideas and insight, they’re super appreciated! <3


Hello all,
Making names searchable with or without special characters has been on our (very long) “to do” list for a while - it is really up to whether this is possible on the tech side. I’ll bump this in priority for the new year because all of us have agreed that it is needed!