Problem when removing accents from a String


I’ve spend several time trying to replace latin characters in strings.
What I want is something like this:

Given the word “camión”, I would like to get the following string:

I’ve found several solutions in the Internet but they only work in the
Rails console, and when I try to launch my Rails application on Mongrel
(I am using Netbeans) nothing is working and from “camión” I am getting
“camin” instead of “camion”.

For example, I’ve tried with these snippets:

def nice_slug(str)

accents = {
  ['á','à ','â','ä','ã'] => 'a',
  ['Ã','Ä','Â','À','Á'] => 'A',
  ['é','è','ê','ë'] => 'e',
  ['Ë','É','È','Ê'] => 'E',
  ['í','ì','î','ï'] => 'i',
  ['Í','Î','Ì','Ï'] => 'I',
  ['ó','ò','ô','ö','õ'] => 'o',
  ['Õ','Ö','Ô','Ò','Ó'] => 'O',
  ['ú','ù','û','ü'] => 'u',
  ['Ú','Û','Ù','Ü'] => 'U',
  ['ç'] => 'c', ['Ç'] => 'C',
  ['ñ'] => 'n', ['Ñ'] => 'N'
accents.each do |ac,rep|
  ac.each do |s|
  str = str.gsub(s, rep)
str = str.gsub(/[^a-zA-Z0-9 ]/,"")

str = str.gsub(/[ ]+/," ")

str = str.gsub(/ /,"-")

str = str.downcase



It throws the following error:

undefined method `normalize’ for "cami�n:String

transliterate' c:/ruby/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/activesupport-2.2.2/lib/active_support/inflector.rb:262:inparameterize’


It throws the following error:

undefined method `decompose’ for "cami�n:String

I am using Ruby 1.8.6, Rails 2.2, Mongrel 1.1.5 and Windows XP.

Please, some help.

Dear César,

have you also tried iconv
( )?
A quick fix might be to use it to convert between different,
encodings, ignoring the accents (which occur in utf-8 or iso-8859-1
encoding, but not in the target ascii encoding).

I can’t try it out on Windows XP right now, but you can see some
discussion and examples here:

Another option might be to use the HTML entities gem.
It gives you the names of the accented character, and you can then
remove the accents in a small routine using regexps,

require ‘rubygems’
require ‘htmlentities’
coder =
string = “<élan>”
res=coder.encode(string, :named) # => “<élan>”

and replace the name of the accent with a regexp:


This works well for the western European and northern European
but it fails for some accents of middle Eastern European languages, such
as the Polish ogoneks ( and the
carons of Czech : …

Best regards,


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