Correcting your iPhone’s Pronunciation

We wrote a few years ago about how to help Siri recognize difficult names that you speak to your iPhone, but if you regularly use the voice features to have your iPhone read text to you, you may get annoyed with the constant mispronunciation of certain words — especially proper names, which are almost always tricky. Fortunately, there’s actually a way you can teach the correct pronunciation of certain words to your iPhone (or other iOS device).

Simply take a trip into your Settings app, and then into General, Accessibility, Speech. In addition to options for configuring voices and rate of speech, you’ll find a “Pronunciations” option down at the bottom. In here, you can type in words that your iPhone often gets wrong and then either phonetically type or simply dictate the correct pronunciations; when dictating, you’ll be offered a list of close phonetic matches, which you can tap to listen to and select the closest one to the correct pronunciation. In addition, you can choose which languages, voices that the pronunciation should be applied to, and even only have it active within certain specific apps if you so desire.

Unfortunately, much like the long list of additional voices that are available, the pronunciation settings only apply to the VoiceOver and text-to-speech features; Siri will sadly ignore whatever you set here and continue to mangle your friends’ names when speaking them back to you.

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