SOUNDEX( ) function

Returns the soundex code for the specified string, which can be used for phonetic comparisons with other strings.

Syntax

SOUNDEX(name)

Parameters

name

Character. The character expression to evaluate.

Output

Character. Returns a four-character soundex code.

Remarks

You can use this function to find values that sound similar. Phonetic similarity is one way of locating possible duplicate values, or inconsistent spelling in manually entered data.

The function returns the American Soundex code for the evaluated string. All codes are one letter followed by three numbers – for example, ‘F634’. The first character in the code represents the first letter of the string. Each number in the code represents one of the six American Soundex groups, which are composed of phonetically similar consonants. Based on these groups, the soundex process encodes the first three consonants in the string after the first letter. The process ignores capitalization, vowels, the consonants ‘H’, ‘W’, and ‘Y’, and in long strings any consonants that appear after the three encoded consonants. One or more trailing zeros (0) in the returned code indicate an evaluated string with fewer than three consonants after the first letter.

The SOUNDSLIKE( ) function provides an alternative method for phonetically comparing strings.

Other string comparison methods

The FUZZYDUP command, and the ISFUZZYDUP( ) and LEVDIST( ) functions, provide a method for comparing strings based on an orthographic comparison (spelling) rather than on a phonetic comparison (sound).

The DICECOEFFICIENT( ) function provides a method for comparing strings that de-emphasizes or completely ignores the relative position of characters or character blocks.

Examples

Example Return value

SOUNDEX("Fairdale")

F634

SOUNDEX("Faredale")

F634

“Faredale” matches the previous “Fairdale” entry.

SOUNDEX("Jonson")

J525

SOUNDEX("Jonston")

J523

“Jonston” does not match the previous “Jonson” entry.

SOUNDEX(Surname)

The soundex code for each value in the “Surname” field.

You can use the expression SOUNDEX(Surname) to create a computed field, and then perform a duplicates test on the computed field to identify any matching soundex codes. Matching soundex codes indicate that the associated character values in the “Surname” field are possible duplicates.

Related reference
FUZZYDUP command
SOUNDSLIKE( ) function
ISFUZZYDUP( ) function
LEVDIST( ) function
DICECOEFFICIENT( ) function


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