Correct How Siri Pronounces Names on iPhone & iPad

Nov 29, 2013 - 5 Comments

Siri logo after iOS 7 While Siri is great at pronouncing some common names, Siri can also completely blunder on others, turning a first or last name into an almost unrecognizable mess of noises that barely resembles the way the name actually sounds.

Fortunately, iOS now makes it very easy to correct Siri directly and verbally, so the next time Siri messes up you can instantly fix the pronunciation and get her to speak the right way. Or you can preempt any mistake, and with names that you anticipate Siri to mispronounce you can correct before the virtual assistant has a chance to screw it up by teaching her (or he!) the right way to say a name. Let’s walk through how to correct mispronounced names with Siri, this works the same on any Siri device including iPhone, iPad, or even Mac.

How to Correct Siri Name Mispronunciations on iPhone and iPad

Use this trick after Siri has messed up the pronunciation of a name:

  1. Summon Siri as usual, either by holding down the Home button or the earbud button
  2. Tell Siri “That’s not how you pronounce [name]”
  3. Provide the proper pronunciation for the name in question
  4. Let Siri provide three alternate pronunciations for the name based upon your verbal input, listen to the three, and choose “Select” for the most accurate method of pronunciation

Correct how Siri pronounces a name

How to Teach Siri How to Properly Pronounce a Name

Would you rather teach Siri of the proper way to pronounce a name?

  1. Summon Siri and say: “Pronounce the name [name] as [pronunciation]”
  2. Let Siri confirm the name from the contacts, choose “Yes” or “No” as needed to move to the next step
  3. Select the best of the three options Siri has offered as the pronunciation based upon your speech

If the three pronunciation examples that Siri provides are way off, tap on “Tell Siri Again” to offer the proper way again.

For the most part it will offer a close-enough option in at least one of the initial three, but if Siri completely fails then tap the Tell Again option and annunciate each distinct syllable a bit closer.

Repeat this as necessary for names that Siri is mispronouncing, and you can also choose to correct either the first name and last name, or go all in one and correct the entire names pronunciation if the assistant is butchering the whole thing.

Fixing the pronunciation is also important for improved name recognition for contacts with defined relationships, and just natural language commands in general.

This works the same on the iPad and iPhone, so long as the device as Siri support and at least iOS 7.0 or newer. Prior to iOS 7, users had to go about adding the phonetic spelling of a name to fix (or at least improve) how Siri pronounced names. The phonetic spelling trick continues to work, and if the verbal pronunciation correction doesn’t fix how she/he speaks the name, it may still be the only option.

Do you correct name pronunciations to Siri often? Do you find Siri pronounces names properly in general, or do you have to correct them often? Let us know your experiences and thoughts in the comments below.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks

5 Comments

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  1. Vin Godleski says:

    siri pronunciation correction works in my iPhone with 12.4.2

    It does not in either of our iPhones with 13.1.3
    She accepts the correction, says “that’s what it will be from now on” but it never takes. Next time she is back to the old pronunciation.

    is there a fix?

  2. Ang says:

    Oh sorry from my phone

  3. Steve says:

    Never works though! Have used it for Finnish friends names. It asks me, I select accordingly, then next time when I say “call xxxxx” it doesn’t recognise the name and I go through the process all over again!

  4. Me says:

    This doesn’t work with Dutch names in Dutch siri says that its not possible in this language

  5. Fred says:

    Or he????? Or him!

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