The MySQL-Server offers as well as nearly all other SQL-Server phonetic search which makes every search function user friendlier and easier to use. The fuction that is used in MySQL for phonetic search is called SOUNDEX. This function generates and returns a code based on the sound of the string which is passed to it. This means that two strings that sound equal have the same soundex-code.
SQL-Query: SELECT * FROM table WHERE SOUNDEX( table.column ) LIKE SOUNDEX( ‘search_value’ );
For further details see: http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.1/en/string-functions.html#function_soundex