Teach Siri Pronunciation in ios 10

Correct pronunciation has been one of the most sought after Siri enhancements since ’s initial launch of the virtual assistant

Siri Can Finally Learn to Speak Words Properly

User’s Can Finally Correct Siri’s Pronunciations

ios 10 includes a much desired feature update that’s received almost no press so I decided to write a short post about it. For years Siri has been mispronouncing words. Everything from proper names to plain old simple words like ‘magazine’…but there hasn’t been a good way to teach her the correct pronunciations up until now.  When ios 7 first came out, Siri received a minor upgrade which allowed users to teach ‘her’ how to pronounce proper names.  I guess for people with unusual names this was great!  But for the other 90% of the world this upgrade was pretty insignificant.  Not only that, but it wasn’t easy to accomplish! Try as I may, I couldn’t figure out how to use that enhancement on a larger scale…with regular words.

Here’s a link to a good article that describes how to teach Siri to learn to speak proper names correctly.

Who Might Benefit the Most From This New Feature?

Well certainly anyone who uses ios’es accessibility features will…especially those with visual impairments. As I’ve written about a couple times previously, I use Siri a lot to read things out loud to me. I think that this is where there’s a much larger audience for this feature enhancement.

As Apple has continued to improve Siri’s voice, making her sound more and more natural, I’ve noticed that more and more people have begun using Siri for both typing (dictation) and reading hands free. I suspect that anyone who uses tts or ‘text-to-speech’ by having their ios devices read things out loud to them will love this new feature. Nothing is more annoying than listening to Siri reading something to you and consistently mispronouncing the same word over and over again. Why do I use tts so much?  It’s a great way to multi-task by getting boring chores done while keeping up with tech news, proof reading posts…you name it.  It’s a feature that like Evernote, has changed my life!  My husband uses Siri to read things out loud to himself while he’s driving…which is a lot!  He’s slowly warmed up to Siri as her voice has grown to sound more natural…but those mispronunciations really bug him!

How to Correct Siri’s Pronunciation

Go to SettingsGeneralAccessibilitySpeech (under the top category Vision) and scroll to the bottom of the screen to see Pronunciation.

Or you can just type ‘Speech‘ into the search bar in Settings and select the top search result.

Tap on ‘Pronunciation‘ and you’ll be taken to this screen:

Tap on the +
in the upper righthand corner and you’ll arrive here:

Type the word you want to correct
in the field labeled ‘Phrase‘ then tap on the microphone and say the word correctly.

Sometimes Siri will immediately repeat the word and other times you’ll need to tap on the word ‘Play‘ also in the upper right-hand corner.  This is your opportunity to see if Siri pronounces the word correctly now.  If she does…great!  You’re all done!  If she doesn’t a little tweaking might be necessary.

How to Tweak the Pronunciation

You can do this one of 2 ways…or try both if the first try doesn’t work. The first method is to try and just tap on the incorrect syllable and speak it again. It can take a couple of tries for Siri to get it…but oftentimes this method works.  If it doesn’t, you can try typing in the phonetic pronunciation of the syllable.  This too might take several try’s…but between using a combinations n of these 2 methods so far at least, I’ve been successful getting Siri to speak the words that bother me more accurately.  It’s not a perfect system yet…which may be why even Apple hasn’t highlighted this new feature to the world yet…but it generally works for me!

Last year I wrote a short post about some of the new things Siri could do. Apple included more in ios 10. The screenshot below shows some of Siri’s new features and ways to use Siri as your virtual assistant at the  website.

Here’s a link to one other good post I found that describes this new feature as well as a few more cool new accessibility features too.


About vsajewel

Hi...I'm the author of 2 main blogs on WordPress.com. vsatips...which is about tech tips for mobile devices like cellphones & tablets. vsatrends, my 2nd blog, is focused more on lifestyle trends...especially those with a strong design element. I also host a YouThe channel which includes aspects of both websites.
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5 Responses to Teach Siri Pronunciation in ios 10

  1. Thanks a lot for sharing the updates. Keep up the good work


  2. vsajewel says:

    For some reason this comment never appeared for me to approve…I just received an email about it. So I putting it here because it’s great information:

    The Comment: This is a great feature. Is there a phonetic guide for the “Substitution” field? For instance Siri gets “Schloss” right, but can’t handle “WSchloss.” Says it can’t find a substitution. I pronounce it “DoubleYouSchloss” not “WuSchloss.” How can I get her to say that correctly? Thank you.

    Update, problem solved. Still submitting as it may be instructional for others.

    I just typed “DoubleYouSchloss” into the phrase field, she got it right the second time, then I typed wschloss into the phrase field and saved. That seems to have worked OK.

    Hope it helps someone.

    Still interested in phonetics guide. I doubt Apple reinvented this, they must use the same as OED or Webster or some such, but which?


  3. vsajewel says:

    Thanks for your great comment. One question…when saying ‘doubleyouschloss’ are you trying to dictate to get that word/name typed in for you? I agree completely that spelling while dictating is frustrating and I haven’t yet found a way to dictate well yet spell out words that Siri would get wrong otherwise. The result is complete garbage…worse than you’d expect. But if there was a name or word you wanted to use repeatedly I’d use the keyboard shortcuts in Settings and make a shortcut I can use to enter the word. I’ve not tried that with dictation though. An example…when I type the word Apple…this  appears in its place. I just tried dictating the Apple shortcut but it doesn’t work in spoken mode.


  4. wschloss says:

    Follow up to my earlier comment:

    Disappointingly, reverse doesn’t work. When I go to email or messages, hit microphone, and say “DoubleYouSchloss,” expecting her to type “wschloss” she does not, but instead barfs.

    I searched for an online “phonetic translator,” for lack of a better term, but was unable to find any that worked well at all—that includes translate.google.com.

    I have some phonetics in my contacts. I can’t tell which “over-rides” the other. I think perhaps those in contacts should be removed and all should be instead in settings?


    Liked by 1 person

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