Get Siri to recognize and pronounce names properly

Is Siri constantly pronouncing your name or a contact's name inaccurately? Learn how to fix that and also set up nicknames in a few easy steps.

Siri User Guide
Siri User Guide

Siri is meant to be an all-knowing super-intelligent virtual being, but quite often stumbles over something as simple as pronouncing a name correctly.

But did you know it’s actually easy to fix that and train Siri to learn how to say your name and nicknames saved to your contacts in a few simple steps?

How to correct Siri’s pronunciation

When Siri says a name or Nickname incorrectly, you should reply quickly (within a second or two) with:

You said that wrong
That’s not how you say name
You pronounced that wrong

Siri will then respond, asking you to say the person’s first name and how you would prefer it to be said.

Once you’ve responded, you’re shown a list of pronunciation options to choose from.

  • Press the play icon next to each option to hear how they sound.
  • Press Select next to the correct version.

If none of the suggestions sound right, tap on the link to “Tell Siri again” and repeat the process once more.

Next, Siri will ask you to go through the same procedure for the last name.

Siri Pronounce Name Screen

Asking Siri to correct pronunciation directly

The second method is to prompt Siri to learn a new pronunciation by calling up a contact’s name.

Hey Siri, learn to pronounce name of contact

Siri takes you through the same process as above, asking how to pronounce the first name and then the last name and prompting you to select the best option for each.

Manually enter phonetic spelling

The third way is to edit a person’s information in the Contacts app on your device.

  • Open the Contacts app on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Find the person’s contact card.
  • Tap on Edit in the upper-right corner.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page until you see the link to Add Field and tap on it.
  • On the Add Field page, tap on the entry for **Phonetic first name **(or the part of the name you wish to correct).
  • Type in your best guess as to how the name should be pronounced.
  • Tap Done. You can then ask Siri to show you contact information for that person, and Siri will now pronounce the full name.

You can use this method to change the pronunciation of first, middle, and last names and a contact’s company name.

iPhone Contacts Add Field Page

Using nicknames

If you have people in your contacts list with the same name or have names pronounced similarly, you can take advantage of Nicknames to tell them apart.

For example, if you say…

Hey Siri, call Jane

…and you have more than one Jane in your contacts, Siri will respond by asking you to pick the correct Jane from a list.

This is fine, but it could soon get inconvenient if you have to do it regularly.

Assigning a nickname in the Contacts app is easy.

  • Open the Contacts app on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Find the person’s contact card.
  • Tap on Edit in the upper-right corner.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page until you see the link to Add Field and tap on it.
  • On the Add Field page, tap on the entry for ** Nickname**.
  • Type in the Nickname.
  • Tap Done.

You can now refer to the contact by their new Nickname, and Siri will understand who you are referring to.

One final trick is to assign relationships to your contacts. As luck would have it, we’ve already written all about how to do that.

Want to discover more about using Siri, Apple’s popular virtual assistant? We’ve written a helpful collection of tutorials full of techniques for using apps, dictation, using Siri Shortcuts, and a comprehensive beginner’s guide to activating and using Siri.

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