PadGadget’s iPad Tips: Make Siri Pronounce Your Friend’s Name Properly

Siri How To 3Welcome back to another episode of our weekly how-to guide. Right now, there might be millions of new iPad owners out there. The numbers aren’t in yet, and it is impossible to tell how many iPad Air purchasers are new to the iOS operating system, but I’ll bet there are a few of you. Each week, we cover the basics of how to use your iPad, and try to fill you in on some of the extra features you may not have already known. Last week, we explained AirDrop and what it can do for you. Have you given your phone number out to a random stranger at a bar yet?

This week, we have a simple trick for getting Siri to say names in your contacts correctly. From now on, she (or he) won’t confuse “Michelle” with “Michel.”

Siri can be a very helpful assistant. However, she can also be a bit of a nuisance if you don’t teach her what you want her to do for you. Apple has made a lot of changes to make the software learn faster, but like a good boss, you have to do the work and train Siri to be the assistant you need.

One new feature that your personal assistant can do now is learn how to pronounce names.

Siri How To 2To activate the learning feature, open Siri by touching and holding the Home button until you hear the familiar chime and the microphone icon appears. Then say, “That’s not how you pronounce [Name].” Siri will then ask you how to pronounce it. Simply repeat the name and the personal assistant will ask you to clarify by selecting the proper pronunciation from a list of options.

Siri How To 1Here is an example. I have a friend whose last name is Onyskin. Siri has always pronounced it the way it looks, “Ony-skin.” However, it is actually pronounced “Oh-nish-kin.” I spoke the correct pronunciation to Siri so that he (my Siri is male now) would learn the changes. It didn’t work the first time, so I tried again. The second time worked and I was offered three choices, each with emphasis on a different syllable.

When you select the correct pronunciation of a name, Siri will then confirm the changes by repeating the name. If everything sounds right, you can move on.

Siri will always ask you how to pronounce the first and last name. So, if the first name is not a problem, just select the correct syllabic emphasis and move onto the last name.

About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik

  • Dennis D. McDonald

    thank you for posting this!

    • Lory Gil

      Glad we could help.