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How to teach Siri to pronounce a name correctly

Siri's voice pitch and natural language has improved significantly over the years. But, just like humans, she can sometimes mispronounce a name. You can teach her how to pronounce names correctly. Here's how.

How to teach Siri to pronounce someone's name

  1. Press and hold the Home button on your iPhone or iPad, or say "Hey, Siri" to activate Siri.
  2. Say the name of a person that you think Siri will mispronounce.
  3. After Siri says the name, say "You're pronouncing [name] wrong." You can use a first, middle, or last name.

  1. Siri will ask you how to pronounce the first name of the person. Speak the first name.
  2. Siri will ask you to select a pronunciation. Play each option and choose the correct one.
  3. Siri will ask you the middle name of the person. Speak the middle name (if applicable).
  4. Siri will ask you to select a pronunciation. Play each option and choose the correct one.
  5. Siri will ask you the last name of the person. Speak the last name.
  6. Siri will ask you to select a pronunciation. Play each option and choose the correct one.

Siri will remember how to pronounce that particular name from now on. This doesn't necessarily work every time. Some names are still too complicated for Siri to understand how to pronounce, but this works most of the time.

Ally Kazmucha contributed to an earlier version of this article.

Updated March 2018: This is still up to date for the latest version of iOS!

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).

13 Comments
  • I always used the phrase "Change the pronunciation." Too bad Siri cannot say the 'chet' sound often used in Hebrew and Arabic names. I've tried everything. Sent from the iMore App
  • Your tip worked a lot better for me! Thanks
  • Worked better for me too. Funny thing is the name is easy to say, but has a strange spelling.
  • This is great. There are few names that Siri has problems pronouncing. This can help with that problem. Thanks for this great tip! Sent from the iMore App
  • Did anyone get this working for last names? She pronounces my first name right but last name wrong.
  • I just tried this and YES it works for last names also. I asked Siri what's my last name and she always said it incorrectly. Now she has more respect lol
  • To me, one of the most exciting iOS 7 tips yet!
    Thank you "A lie"! [Ally] Sent from the iMore App
  • If only this would work for other names (E.G. street names), Siri would learn exceptionally fast if all pronunciation was user editable...at least in part.
  • iPhones are small portable computers which can also make phone calls. iPads are tablet computers. Android phones are phones you can also use to post to Facebook. Android tablets are tablets that are usually used to post to Facebook.
  • I wish this worked for apps. Every time I ask Siri to open Due, she tells me I don't have an app called "do you." Sent from the iMore App
  • That's awesome !!! Sent from the iMore App
  • it doesn't work at all! after the phrase : that not how to pronounce,
    she asks - ok, how do you pronounce the name
    after my voice she says - sorry , i didn't catch that. could You say it again? - my voice - after that stupid siri frustrates me : - I'm sorry Vako but I'm having trouble understanding you right now.....
    WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON IN HER BRAIN?? PLEASE HELP ME..
  • I couldn't get Siri to correct the last name, etither. I found an easy way to fix this by editing the Contact information for the person.
    Open "Contacts"
    Select the person
    Select "Add Field"
    Select "Phonetic Last Name"
    Enter the correct pronunciation.
    Select "Done"
    Hope this helps you.