iOS Tip 150 - Teaching Siri

Schooling Siri on Unusual Names

Teaching Siri .
Like us Siri can sometimes stumble over names that don’t read the same way they sound when spoken aloud. But you can tell Siri the proper pronunciation of a name for future reference.
The next time Siri mangles a name, tap the microphone button and say, “That’s not how you pronounce [Name].” The program should respond with, “O.K., how do you pronounce the name [Name]?” Say the correct pronunciation of your first and last name as clearly as you can.
Siri will then fire back with, “O.K., thank you. Which pronunciation should I use?” and offer a few variations of your first name to play back. After you have listened to the choices, tap Select next to the one you want and then move on to Siri’s attempts to pronounce your last name.
If none of the options sound correct, tap Tell Siri Again and repeat the pronunciation exercise until you get better results. After you make your selections, Siri should use the corrected version of your name from then on.
If your Contacts list contains names with unusual spellings and pronunciations that Siri cannot accurately match up when you ask for them, you can try adding a phonetic version of the name to the person’s contact card. To do that, call up the contact, tap Edit in the upper-right corner and scroll down to Add Field.
Tap the Add Field option and on the next screen, select Phonetic First Name or Phonetic Last Name. Once the chosen field appears, type in the syllables of the name the way that they sound rather than how the name is spelled.
For example, if Siri trips over the Irish name Siobhan, enter “she vann” into the Phonetic First Name field and tap Done. Later, when you want to send your friend a text message, say the name the way it sounds. Siri should hear “she vann,” but address a message to Siobhan.