In yesterday's post, I chronicled some of my own experiences of importing User Bibles with version 7.2. Today, I want to continue that by talking about my attempts to import a Polish Bible.
No, I don't read Polish, but I do know a missionary to Poland who has wanted a Polish Bible in Accordance for a long time. So when we were testing this feature, I asked this missionary to send me an e-text of a Polish Bible to see if I could get it to import. I soon learned that Polish would pose its own set of problems.
While the accents used by most Western European languages are represented in standard Mac Roman fonts, Polish uses a number of unusual accents, such as a crossed L or a z with a dot above it. I could strip all these accents out, but as my missionary friend put it, that would make the text "all but useless"--especially if he intended to copy and paste text from Accordance into other documents.
My next thought was that all of these special characters are included in Accordance's own Rosetta transliteration font. It was a simple matter to write a macro which would convert the Unicode accent characters to the corresponding characters in Rosetta. The question I had was whether the text would still import properly. It did, but of course it looked like gobbledegook until I used command-T (the one keyboard shortcut you absolutely must learn) and set the text font to Rosetta.
Now I had a text which looked right, but because Accordance doesn't support transliterated Bible texts, this text didn't search properly. Accordance normally lets you search transliterated text by ignoring the accents. So, for example, the crossed L would be treated like a standard L for purposes of searching. I had managed to trick Accordance into displaying transliterated text, but Accordance did not know to search this Polish Bible as transliterated text, so I quickly discovered that this text was well-nigh unsearchable.
I couldn't give my friend an Accordance Bible which wasn't searchable. After all, what's the advantage of having a Bible in Accordance if you can't utilize Accordance's powerful search capabilities?
The solution I came up with was to create two user Bibles: one with the accents for display purposes, and one without the accents for purposes of searching. By setting the unaccented version as the search text and displaying the accented version in parallel, my friend can now search the one and copy and paste from the other.
Obviously, one text which did it all would be preferable to two, but this is a good example of how with a little ingenuity, you can stretch the user Bible feature to accommodate unusual texts. Someone on our forums has already asked about importing a Lithuanian Bible. I would suggest handling that text in much the same way.
My missionary friend was very happy to have access to his Polish Bible in Accordance, and in the course of our e-mail exchanges, he even taught me a bit about the language. It seems Polish is a heavily inflected language with no less than 7 different cases. In the example above, you can see how I've used a wildcard symbol to find multiple inflections of the same word (or is it more than one related word?). He said that the wildcard feature would certainly come in handy, but he jokingly told me a grammatically tagged Polish Bible would be better!
At least, I think he was joking. . .