The soundex( function computes a four character code that roughly corresponds to the phonetic pronunciation of the word.


This function has one parameter:

word – The text to be converted, usually a name.


The soundex( function converts a word (text) to a phonetic code using the soundex algorithm. This algorithm, originally created in 1918, attempts to create the same code for words that sound similar in English. The algorithm only works properly for English, and only for one word at a time.

soundex("smith") ☞ s530
soundex("smyth") ☞ s530
soundex("smythe") ☞ s530
soundex("katy") ☞ k300
soundex("katie") ☞ k300
soundex("john") ☞ j500
soundex("John") ☞ j500
soundex("jon") ☞ j500
soundex("Christy") ☞ c623
soundex("Kristy") ☞ k623

One weakness of this algorithm is that the two words must start with the same letter for the phonetic code to match. Because of this, word pairs like Christy and Kristy will not match.

Error Messages

soundex( function must have one (and only one) parameter – Sorry, just one word at a time!

soundex( function only works with text, not numbers – This function doesn’t work at all with numbers, only words.

See Also


10.0NewAdded in this version.