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php – Convert accented characters to their plain ascii equivalents

Posted by: admin April 23, 2020 Leave a comment


I have to convert french characters into english on my php. I’ve used the following code:

iconv("utf-8", "ascii//TRANSLIT", $string);

But the result for ËËË was "E"E"E.

I don’t need that double quote and other extra characters – I want to show an output like EEE. Is there any other method to convert french to english? Can you help me to do this?

How to&Answers:

The PHP Manual iconv Intro has a warning:

Note that the iconv function on some systems may not work as you
expect. In such case, it’d be a good idea to install the GNU libiconv
library. It will most likely end up with more consistent results.

But if accented characters are the only issue then you could use a dirty strtr (partially from strtr comments):

$string = 'Ë À Ì Â Í Ã Î Ä Ï Ç Ò È Ó É Ô Ê Õ Ö ê Ù ë Ú î Û ï Ü ô Ý õ â û ã ÿ ç';

$normalizeChars = array(
    'Š'=>'S', 'š'=>'s', 'Ð'=>'Dj','Ž'=>'Z', 'ž'=>'z', 'À'=>'A', 'Á'=>'A', 'Â'=>'A', 'Ã'=>'A', 'Ä'=>'A',
    'Å'=>'A', 'Æ'=>'A', 'Ç'=>'C', 'È'=>'E', 'É'=>'E', 'Ê'=>'E', 'Ë'=>'E', 'Ì'=>'I', 'Í'=>'I', 'Î'=>'I',
    'Ï'=>'I', 'Ñ'=>'N', 'Ń'=>'N', 'Ò'=>'O', 'Ó'=>'O', 'Ô'=>'O', 'Õ'=>'O', 'Ö'=>'O', 'Ø'=>'O', 'Ù'=>'U', 'Ú'=>'U',
    'Û'=>'U', 'Ü'=>'U', 'Ý'=>'Y', 'Þ'=>'B', 'ß'=>'Ss','à'=>'a', 'á'=>'a', 'â'=>'a', 'ã'=>'a', 'ä'=>'a',
    'å'=>'a', 'æ'=>'a', 'ç'=>'c', 'è'=>'e', 'é'=>'e', 'ê'=>'e', 'ë'=>'e', 'ì'=>'i', 'í'=>'i', 'î'=>'i',
    'ï'=>'i', 'ð'=>'o', 'ñ'=>'n', 'ń'=>'n', 'ò'=>'o', 'ó'=>'o', 'ô'=>'o', 'õ'=>'o', 'ö'=>'o', 'ø'=>'o', 'ù'=>'u',
    'ú'=>'u', 'û'=>'u', 'ü'=>'u', 'ý'=>'y', 'ý'=>'y', 'þ'=>'b', 'ÿ'=>'y', 'ƒ'=>'f',
    'ă'=>'a', 'î'=>'i', 'â'=>'a', 'ș'=>'s', 'ț'=>'t', 'Ă'=>'A', 'Î'=>'I', 'Â'=>'A', 'Ș'=>'S', 'Ț'=>'T',

//Output: E A I A I A I A I C O E O E O E O O e U e U i U i U o Y o a u a y c
echo strtr($string, $normalizeChars);


This worked for me for French characters.

$str = utf8_encode($str);
$str = iconv('UTF-8', 'ASCII//TRANSLIT', $str);


An alternative:

function replaceAccents($str) {

  $search = explode(",","ç,æ,œ,á,é,í,ó,ú,à,è,ì,ò,ù,ä,ë,ï,ö,ü,ÿ,â,ê,î,ô,û,å,ø,Ø,Å,Á,À,Â,Ä,È,É,Ê,Ë,Í,Î,Ï,Ì,Ò,Ó,Ô,Ö,Ú,Ù,Û,Ü,Ÿ,Ç,Æ,Œ");

  $replace = explode(",","c,ae,oe,a,e,i,o,u,a,e,i,o,u,a,e,i,o,u,y,a,e,i,o,u,a,o,O,A,A,A,A,A,E,E,E,E,I,I,I,I,O,O,O,O,U,U,U,U,Y,C,AE,OE");

  return str_replace($search, $replace, $str);

$str = "À é ü ä ç";
$str = replaceAccents($str);
echo "$str \n"; 
//output "A e u a c" 


Here is the wordpress way:


You can copy the remove_accents() function and implement to your system.



Just putting here as an alternative (a bit more complex in nature), wordpress uses this function for accent removal. Made some changes below to make it run indepndently without referencing wordpress functions.


What worked for me in this instance is using utf8_encode on the string and then using strtr() function after encoding it.


outputs = Burelle Amélie -> Burelle Amelie


In laravel you can simply use str_slug($accentedPhrase) and if you care about dash (-) that this method substitute with space you can use str_replace('-', ' ', str_slug($accentedPhrase))


Here’s what helped me. It’s important to set locale to en_US and not your real locale.