How to Modify PINYIN Names for SOUNDEX Coding and Record Linkage

PINYIN is a standard for approximating the sound of Chinese names using the western alphabet. Most letters are pronounced roughly like they are in English with exceptions. These exceptions can reduce the usefulness of SOUNDEX coding done for linkage purposes. First, SOUNDEX coding suppresses all vowels except for the first letter in a name and the correct Chinese pronunciation depends greatly on the vowels. SOUNDEX codes cannot differentiate between LI, LIU, LU, and LUI. Second, PINYIN Q is pronounced like CH, C and X like SH, and ZH like J. For example, PINYIN QIANG (SOUNDEX Q520) is pronounced like CHEE-AHNG (SOUNDEX C520) and might be misspelled CHIANG (SOUNDEX C520). The good news is that all of these consonants with exceptions are in SOUNDEX group 2 so they are all coded as digit 2 except as first letters. So, if we change the first one or two letters of some PINYIN names then SOUNDEX codes for the modified names will be more useful for record linkage.

‘Step 4 – Change letters from the following groups into the corresponding digits:

‘1 = B, F, P, V

‘2 = C, G, J, K, Q, S, X, Z

‘3 = D, T

‘4 = L

‘5 = M, N

‘6 = R

Public Function ModPinYin(varPinYin As Variant) As Variant

ModPinYin = Null

If Not IsNull(varPinYin) Then

ModPinYin = CStr(varPinYin)

If Left(PinYin2, 2) = “CH” Then ‘ No change

ModPinYin = ModPinYin

ElseIf Left(PinYin2, 1) = “Q” Then ‘ Replace Q with CH

ModPinYin = “CH” & Mid(ModPinYin, 2)

ElseIf Left(PinYin2, 1) = “C” Then ‘Replace C with SH

ModPinYin = “SH” & Mid(ModPinYin, 2)

ElseIf Left(ModPinYin, 2) = “HS” Then Replace HS with SH

ModPinYin = “SH” & Mid(ModPinYin, 3)

ElseIf Left(PinYin2, 1) = “X” Then ‘Replace X with SH

ModPinYin = “SH” & Mid(ModPinYin, 2)

ElseIf Left(ModPinYin, 2) = “ZH” Then Replace ZH with J

ModPinYin = “J” & Mid(ModPinYin, 3)

End If

End If

End Function

The Voice of America English News web site has a guide for pronouncing Chinese names.

http://pronounce.voanews.com/browse-oneregion.php?region=China

The Pinyin and Pronounced columns in the following table were copied from this web site. Soundex is the SOUNDEX code for Pinyin. PinyonMod is the same as Pinyon with recommended changes to initial letters and Soundex2 is the corresponding SOUNDEX code. Pronounced is Voice of America’s guide for English speakers and Soundex3 the corresponding SOUNDEX code.

PinYinNames
Pinyin Soundex PinyinMod Soundex2 Pronounced Soundex3
BEIJING B252 BEIJING B252 BAY-JEENG B252
BOXIONG B252 BOXIONG B252 BOH SHAWNG B252
CHEN C500 CHEN C500 CHUHN C500
CHEN KAIGE C520 CHEN KAIGE C520 CHUHN K-EYE GUH C520
CUI C000 SHUI S000 SWAY S000
CUI TIANKAI C352 SHUI TIANKAI S352 SWAY TEE-EHN K-EYE S352
DING D520 DING D520 DEENG D520
DING GUIZIONG D525 DING GUIZIONG D525 DEENG GWAY JAWNG D525
DU D000 DU D000 DOO D000
DU QINGLIN D252 DU QINGLIN D252 DOO CHEENG LEEN D252
ENLAI E540 ENLAI E540 EHN L-EYE E540
FU F000 FU F000 FOO F000
FU QUANYOU F250 FU QUANYOU F250 FOO CHWAHNYOH F250
GAO G000 GAO G000 GAH-OH G000
GAO QIANG G252 GAO QIANG G252 GAH-OH CHEE-AHNG G252
GAO ZHAN G250 GAO ZHAN G250 GAH-OH JAHN G250
GUANGLIE G524 GUANGLIE G524 GWAHNG LAY G524
GUIZIONG G252 GUIZIONG G252 GWAY JAWNG G252
GUO G000 GUO G000 GWOH G000
GUO BOXIONG G125 GUO BOXIONG G125 GWOH BOH SHAWNG G125
HE H000 HE H000 HUH H000
HE XINTONG H253 HE XINTONG H253 HUH SHEEN TAWNG H253
HSING H252 SHING S520 SHEENG S520
HSING HSING H252 SHING HSING S525 SHEENG SHEENG S525
HU H000 HU H000 HOO H000
HU JIA H200 HU JIA H200 HOO JYAH H200
HUANG H520 HUANG H520 HWAHNG H520
HUANG JU H520 HUANG JU H520 HWAHNG JOO H520
JIANG J520 JIANG J520 jee-YAHNG J520
JIANGXI J520 JIANGXI J520 jee-YAHNG SHEE J520
JIANMIN J550 JIANMIN J550 JAHN MEEN J550
LI L000 LI L000 LEE L000
LI XI L200 LI XI L200 LEE SHEE L200
LIANG L520 LIANG L520 LYAHNG L520
LIANG GUANGLIE L525 LIANG GUANGLIE L525 LYAHNG GWAHNG LAY L525
LIN L500 LIN L500 LEEN L500
LUI L000 LUI L000 L-YOO L000
LUI XIA L200 LUI XIA L200 L-YOO SH-YAH L200
MA M000 MA M000 MAH M000
MA ZHAOXU M200 MA ZHAOXU M200 MAH JAH-OH SHOO M200
MEI XIANG M252 MEI XIANG M252 MAY SH-YAHNG M252
QIAN Q500 CHIAN C500 CHEHN C500
QIAN QICHEN Q525 CHIAN QICHEN C525 CHEHN CHEE-CHUHN C525
QIANG Q520 CHIANG C520 CHEE-AHNG C520
QINGDAO Q523 CHINGDAO C523 CHEENG DOW C523
QINGLIN Q524 CHINGLIN C524 CHEENG LEEN C524
QUANYOU Q500 CHUANYOU C500 CHWAHNYOH C500
SILIN S450 SILIN S450 SUH-LEEN S450
SUN S500 SUN S500 SOON S500
SUN ZHENYU S525 SUN ZHENYU S525 SOON JUHN YOO S525
TIANKAI T520 TIANKAI T520 TEE-EHN K-EYE T520
WANG W520 WANG W520 WAHNG W520
WANG DAN W523 WANG DAN W523 WAHNG DAHN W523
WU W000 WU W000 WOO W000
WU JIANMIN W255 WU JIANMIN W255 WOO JAHN MEEN W255
XIANG X520 SHIANG S520 SH-YAHNG S520
XIAOHUA X000 SHIAOHUA S000 SHAH-OH HWAH S000
XIAOLEI X400 SHIAOLEI S400 SHYAU LEY S400
XINTONG X535 SHINTONG S535 SHEEN TAWNG S535
XU X000 SHU S000 SHOO S000
XU CAIHOU X200 SHU CAIHOU S200 SHOO TS-EYE HOH S320
YAN Y500 YAN Y500 YAHN Y500
YANG Y520 YANG Y520 YAHNG Y520
YANG JIANLI Y525 YANG JIANLI Y525 YAHNG JAHN LEE Y525
ZHAN Z500 JAN J500 JAHN J500
ZHANG Z520 JANG J520 JAHNG J520
ZHANG HONGBAO Z525 JANG HONGBAO J525 JAHNG HAWNG-BOW J525
ZHANG QIYUE Z520 JANG QIYUE J520 JAHNG CHEE YOO-WEH J520
ZHAO Z000 JAO J000 JAH-OH J000
ZHAO YAN Z500 JAO YAN J500 JAH-OH YAHN J500
ZHAOXU Z200 JAOXU J200 JAH-OH SHOO J200
ZHENG Z520 JENG J520 JUHNG J520
ZHENG SILIN Z524 JENG SILIN J524 JUHNG SUH-LEEN J524
ZHOU Z000 JOU J000 JOH J000
ZHOU ENLAI Z540 JOU ENLAI J540 JOH EHN L-EYE J540
ZHU Z000 JU J000 JOO J000
ZHU XIAOHUA Z200 JU XIAOHUA J200 JOO SHAH-OH HWAH J200
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