How to teach Siri to pronounce names correctly on your iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone
Some names can be hard for Siri to pronounce, and if you don't correct the matter won't be accurately retrieved by Apple's voice-powered assistant. Here's how to fix them.




After you invoke Siri, say the name of the contact in question that Siri mangles. You may have to pronounce it the way Siri wants you to by default.

After Siri says the name, you have a window of a couple of seconds to say "You're pronouncing [Siri's pronunciation of the name] wrong." Alternatively, in our run-throughs, we had to resort to using "Mike."

Siri will ask you how the first name of the contact is pronounced -- say the name as you would ordinarily. Siri will chew on it for a second, and present you with a few options.

Hit play to preview how Siri interpreted what you said, and select the one you like. If you like none of them, you can hit Tell Siri Again to repeat the process.

If your contact has a middle name, Siri will also run through that one as well.

Repeat the say-and-select process for what is more likely the problematic last name. For instance, we got two very nearly identical options for "Mike" and five very different ones for "Wuerthele." Over a few devices, the first choice Siri gave us for both my last name and a few other challenging ones was the best.

While we were testing this process, Siri was a little frustrating until we realized that to tell her which name she was pronouncing wrong had to be said the same way Siri was saying it. There's a text-based way to enter it, in the Contacts app.

Find your contact, and hit Edit. Scroll down and tap Add Field.

When the contact's screen is returned, hit either Phonetic first Name or Phonetic Last Name as needed. Enter a spelling that approximates the pronunciation, tap Done and Siri will use that.


tycho_macusermizhou

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    This is excellent, thank you. I’ve been wondering how to fix this for years. 
    r00fus1asdasddysamoriawatto_cobramizhou
  • Reply 2 of 15
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,293member
    This worked out in a much nicer and easier fashion for me. It just worked, however it was my name.

    I said "you are pronouncing my name wrong" and it worked like magic. 
    edited October 2017 r00fus1mvmaastrichtredgeminipaiqatedo
  • Reply 3 of 15
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,101member
    So where were we supposed to get informed that this ability existed. Is it published in some arcane document? Is it on the online iOS user guide? Stuff like this annoys me. It’s a great feature that almost no one knows about because Apple didn’t tell us about in simple language.
    r00fus1minicoffeerandominternetpersondysamoria
  • Reply 4 of 15
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,293member
    It is odd alright because this is not a slapdash feature. They’ve added considerable UX and UI. Siri listens to your pronunciation, generates multiple attempts at her pronunciation , generates that playback UI for you to test it. 

    And it wasn’t mentioned anywhere. Great feature though. 
    r00fus1
  • Reply 5 of 15
    This feature has existed for several prior releases of iOS, but the pronunciation is lost when iOS is upgraded. It appears that Apple does not use iCloud to synchronize the pronunciation between devices connected to the same iCloud account because Siri will not pronounce a name that has been corrected on one device using the correct pronunciation on a different device.
    asdasdretrogustor00fus1dysamoriajony0
  • Reply 6 of 15
    Would be nice to be able correct Siri when she mispronounces street names in Maps.
    tycho_macuseremig647r00fus1equality72521waverboyminicoffeedysamoriatofinojony0
  • Reply 7 of 15
    Still can't get Siri to find Davanni's Pizza no matter what I try
  • Reply 8 of 15
    Siri also pronounces the name of my town in Massachusetts, Brookline, wrong. It always says Brooklyn, but the correct pronunciation of the end of the town name is  like line as in straight line.
    unbeliever2
  • Reply 9 of 15
    lsochrin said:
    Siri also pronounces the name of my town in Massachusetts, Brookline, wrong. It always says Brooklyn, but the correct pronunciation of the end of the town name is  like line as in straight line.
    That's because Siri is an American idiot. To get Siri to tell me about granite, I have to pronounce it grannit. If I pronounce it granite, just like diorite or andesite or any other mineral stone ending in -ite, Siri "hears" it as grannite (how she hears an extra "n" is beyond me) and isn't sure what I'm talking about. Siri's understanding of "correct" pronunciation is programmed by simple-minded people.
    edited October 2017 asdasd
  • Reply 10 of 15
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,293member
    lsochrin said:
    Siri also pronounces the name of my town in Massachusetts, Brookline, wrong. It always says Brooklyn, but the correct pronunciation of the end of the town name is  like line as in straight line.
    That's because Siri is an American idiot. To get Siri to tell me about granite, I have to pronounce it grannit. If I pronounce it granite, just like diorite or andesite or any other mineral stone ending in -ite, Siri "hears" it as grannite (how she hears an extra "n" is beyond me) and isn't sure what I'm talking about. Siri's understanding of "correct" pronunciation is programmed by simple-minded people.
    Granite is pronounced granit
    redgeminipa
  • Reply 11 of 15
    So what is the phonetic pronunciation of "Wuerthele"?  Wirth-el?  Whirl-el-e?
  • Reply 12 of 15
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,604administrator
    So what is the phonetic pronunciation of "Wuerthele"?  Wirth-el?  Whirl-el-e?
    wur-thelly.
    starwars
  • Reply 13 of 15
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,152member
    I have to echo the sentiments above: great feature that Apple never bothered to tell anyone about. Thanks for telling us. Disappointing to see that Siri doesn't share this info beyond the device. This is not intelligence, artificial or otherwise.
  • Reply 14 of 15
    lsochrin said:
    Siri also pronounces the name of my town in Massachusetts, Brookline, wrong. It always says Brooklyn, but the correct pronunciation of the end of the town name is  like line as in straight line.
    That's because Siri is an American idiot. To get Siri to tell me about granite, I have to pronounce it grannit. If I pronounce it granite, just like diorite or andesite or any other mineral stone ending in -ite, Siri "hears" it as grannite (how she hears an extra "n" is beyond me) and isn't sure what I'm talking about. Siri's understanding of "correct" pronunciation is programmed by simple-minded people.


    In American English, "granite" is pronounced "grannit".  And, in fact, according to the Cambridge English Dictionary, that's very nearly the UK pronunciation as well.

    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/pronunciation/english/granite

     

    asdasdapplepieguy
  • Reply 15 of 15
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,066member
    Siri is still annoyingly stupid on the little things that should be the easiest. For example Siri knows I live in Scarborough Queensland, no question. I ask Siri what time is high tide in Scarborough tomorrow and it consults wolfram alpha with the tides for Scarborough in N. Yorkshire. So I ask again 'What time is high tide in Scarborough, Queensland tomorrow' and this time Siri consults Willy Weather and gets it right.

    This is very very basic stuff, it will already have the right weather for my location in Scarborough it must know that names of places are repeated all over the world.  If I'm  living in Texas near Paris and I ask for the weather in Paris tonight, is it going to choose Paris, Texas, or Paris France, one would like to think the former. 
    edited October 2017
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