PHP's metaphone in JavaScript

Here’s what our current JavaScript equivalent to PHP's metaphone looks like.

module.exports = function metaphone (word, maxPhonemes) {
// discuss at: https://locutus.io/php/metaphone/
// original by: Greg Frazier
// improved by: Brett Zamir (https://brett-zamir.me)
// improved by: Rafał Kukawski (https://blog.kukawski.pl)
// example 1: metaphone('Gnu')
// returns 1: 'N'
// example 2: metaphone('bigger')
// returns 2: 'BKR'
// example 3: metaphone('accuracy')
// returns 3: 'AKKRS'
// example 4: metaphone('batch batcher')
// returns 4: 'BXBXR'
const type = typeof word
if (type === 'undefined' || type === 'object' && word !== null) {
// weird!
return null
}
// infinity and NaN values are treated as strings
if (type === 'number') {
if (isNaN(word)) {
word = 'NAN'
} else if (!isFinite(word)) {
word = 'INF'
}
}
if (maxPhonemes < 0) {
return false
}
maxPhonemes = Math.floor(+maxPhonemes) || 0
// alpha depends on locale, so this var might need an update
// or should be turned into a regex
// for now assuming pure a-z
const alpha = 'ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ'
const vowel = 'AEIOU'
const soft = 'EIY'
const leadingNonAlpha = new RegExp('^[^' + alpha + ']+')
word = typeof word === 'string' ? word : ''
word = word.toUpperCase().replace(leadingNonAlpha, '')
if (!word) {
return ''
}
const is = function (p, c) {
return c !== '' && p.indexOf(c) !== -1
}
let i = 0
let cc = word.charAt(0) // current char. Short name because it's used all over the function
let nc = word.charAt(1) // next char
let nnc // after next char
let pc // previous char
const l = word.length
let meta = ''
// traditional is an internal param that could be exposed for now let it be a local var
const traditional = true
switch (cc) {
case 'A':
meta += nc === 'E' ? nc : cc
i += 1
break
case 'G':
case 'K':
case 'P':
if (nc === 'N') {
meta += nc
i += 2
}
break
case 'W':
if (nc === 'R') {
meta += nc
i += 2
} else if (nc === 'H' || is(vowel, nc)) {
meta += 'W'
i += 2
}
break
case 'X':
meta += 'S'
i += 1
break
case 'E':
case 'I':
case 'O':
case 'U':
meta += cc
i++
break
}
for (; i < l && (maxPhonemes === 0 || meta.length < maxPhonemes); i += 1) { // eslint-disable-line no-unmodified-loop-condition,max-len
cc = word.charAt(i)
nc = word.charAt(i + 1)
pc = word.charAt(i - 1)
nnc = word.charAt(i + 2)
if (cc === pc && cc !== 'C') {
continue
}
switch (cc) {
case 'B':
if (pc !== 'M') {
meta += cc
}
break
case 'C':
if (is(soft, nc)) {
if (nc === 'I' && nnc === 'A') {
meta += 'X'
} else if (pc !== 'S') {
meta += 'S'
}
} else if (nc === 'H') {
meta += !traditional && (nnc === 'R' || pc === 'S') ? 'K' : 'X'
i += 1
} else {
meta += 'K'
}
break
case 'D':
if (nc === 'G' && is(soft, nnc)) {
meta += 'J'
i += 1
} else {
meta += 'T'
}
break
case 'G':
if (nc === 'H') {
if (!(is('BDH', word.charAt(i - 3)) || word.charAt(i - 4) === 'H')) {
meta += 'F'
i += 1
}
} else if (nc === 'N') {
if (is(alpha, nnc) && word.substr(i + 1, 3) !== 'NED') {
meta += 'K'
}
} else if (is(soft, nc) && pc !== 'G') {
meta += 'J'
} else {
meta += 'K'
}
break
case 'H':
if (is(vowel, nc) && !is('CGPST', pc)) {
meta += cc
}
break
case 'K':
if (pc !== 'C') {
meta += 'K'
}
break
case 'P':
meta += nc === 'H' ? 'F' : cc
break
case 'Q':
meta += 'K'
break
case 'S':
if (nc === 'I' && is('AO', nnc)) {
meta += 'X'
} else if (nc === 'H') {
meta += 'X'
i += 1
} else if (!traditional && word.substr(i + 1, 3) === 'CHW') {
meta += 'X'
i += 2
} else {
meta += 'S'
}
break
case 'T':
if (nc === 'I' && is('AO', nnc)) {
meta += 'X'
} else if (nc === 'H') {
meta += '0'
i += 1
} else if (word.substr(i + 1, 2) !== 'CH') {
meta += 'T'
}
break
case 'V':
meta += 'F'
break
case 'W':
case 'Y':
if (is(vowel, nc)) {
meta += cc
}
break
case 'X':
meta += 'KS'
break
case 'Z':
meta += 'S'
break
case 'F':
case 'J':
case 'L':
case 'M':
case 'N':
case 'R':
meta += cc
break
}
}
return meta
}
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How to use

You you can install via npm install locutus and require it via require('locutus/php/strings/metaphone'). You could also require the strings module in full so that you could access strings.metaphone instead.

If you intend to target the browser, you can then use a module bundler such as Parcel, webpack, Browserify, or rollup.js. This can be important because Locutus allows modern JavaScript in the source files, meaning it may not work in all browsers without a build/transpile step. Locutus does transpile all functions to ES5 before publishing to npm.

A community effort

Not unlike Wikipedia, Locutus is an ongoing community effort. Our philosophy follows The McDonald’s Theory. This means that we don't consider it to be a bad thing that many of our functions are first iterations, which may still have their fair share of issues. We hope that these flaws will inspire others to come up with better ideas.

This way of working also means that we don't offer any production guarantees, and recommend to use Locutus inspiration and learning purposes only.

Examples

Please note that these examples are distilled from test cases that automatically verify our functions still work correctly. This could explain some quirky ones.

#codeexpected result
1metaphone('Gnu')'N'
2metaphone('bigger')'BKR'
3metaphone('accuracy')'AKKRS'
4metaphone('batch batcher')'BXBXR'

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