Metaphone

a phonetic algorithm, published by Lawrence Philips in 1990, for indexing words by their English pronunciation. It uses information about variations and inconsistencies in English spelling and pronunciation to produce a more accurate encoding, which does a better job of matching words and names which sound similar.

Source: Wikipedia: Metaphone

Why does this matter?

In real life, this algorithm can be used for voice translation as well as similar sounding names search.

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