How to Change How Siri Pronounces Words on Your iPhone

If you’re like me, constantly texting into your phone simply doesn’t cut it. It wastes valuable time, and, let’s be honest, I feel like I’m already getting arthritis in my thumbs from all that unnecessary movement. I want hands-free answers about the weather, traffic, or nearest pawn shop while cooking or walking my dog. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Enter Siri, the Answer Queen of technology. Siri’s pretty smart. She even cracks jokes from time to time. She has class, sass, and, when competing with other digital assistants like Google Now, Cortana, and Alexa, she’s the best at “understanding natural language.” So why the heck does she pronounce things so very wrong?

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America happens to be a melting pot, which means Siri can’t possibly know every single unique way everyone says his or her name from every country around the world. Take my Norwegian friend Ingrid, for instance. Siri unsurprisingly pronounces Ingrid’s first and last names with an American accent, which isn’t how Ingrid says them. Ingrid’s been putting up with Siri saying her name incorrectly for years.

Turns out, it is possible to reteach Siri how to say certain words so she can actually say your name, or a contact’s name, or accurately repeat you when you want her to say, “Matt LeBlanc is my favorite actor.” (She sometimes pronounces LeBlanc “Lee-Blahnk.” Silly Siri.)

How to Change How Siri Pronounces Words

1. To activate Siri, press and hold down the Home button.

Wait till your phone beeps and Siri asks you what you want to do.

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2. Say something that prompts Siri to say the word you’re thinking of.

For example, “Siri, what’s my name?”

I also had a friend text me certain words (like “Matt LeBlanc”) and asked Siri to read me the texts. To do this, say “Siri, read my messages” to which she will respond, “You have a new message from Sarah Haynes, would you like me to read the message?” Respond “yes,” and she will read it to you. Ta-da!

3. Tell Siri she is saying the word wrong.

Here’s the trick to fool this technological minx: when correcting her, make sure to use Siri’s incorrect pronunciation of the botched word. “Siri, that’s not how you pronounce ‘Ingrid’.” Say “Ingrid” the way Siri said it, so she understands which word you’re getting at.

4. When Siri asks how to pronounce the word, respond with the correct pronunciation.

Siri: “OK, how do you pronounce Ingrid?”
You: “Ingrid.” (Or I guess you could say your own name.)

5. Siri will present you with three pronunciation options.

Listen to each of them, and tap Select next to the correct one.


6. Siri will modify how she pronounces the word.


7. Thank Siri for her hard work.

She works around the clock for you. The least you could give her would be a little appreciation. Do it right now. Say, “Thank you, Siri.” But really mean it.

So you see, even if your friend Ingrid is from Norway and you want Siri to pronounce her name correctly, you can train Siri. Like a dog. A super sassy talking dog.

Have you taught Siri to recognize a name? Did she learn it? Tell us below in the comments!

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