How to fix Siri’s ‘Barbra Streisand’ problem

Thanks to Martina/Flickr

Thanks to Martina/Flickr

How to make Siri pronounce names correctly.

Streisand’s pissed with Siri. So much so that a report claims singer Barbra Streisand called Apple CEO Tim Cook up to complain. What’s her problem? That Siri calls her StreiZAND, rather than StreiSAND (a Z sound, rather than an S).

Cook has promised to fix this in a future update, but it really shouldn’t bother her  too much – because it’s easy to train Siri to say her name correctly, so long as she creates a contacts entry with her name.

Here is what Streisand could do:

  • Launch Siri and ask it to bring up the Contact entry for the person it is not pronouncing correctly.
  • Now you say: “That’s not how you pronounce [person’s name].”
  • Siri will ask you to pronounce the first name
  • Pronounce it and you’ll be presented with two audio versions of the name.
  • Choose the correct version.
  • You’ll be asked to follow the same steps for the contact’s last name
  • When you have set both first and second names Siri will repeat the name, hopefully correctly.

Another way to get the process started is to tell Siri, “Learn to pronounce [name, eg. Barbra Streisand] correctly.” So long as you have a contact record in that name, Siri will let you train it into better pronunciation.

And this is how Barbra Streisand could solve her own problem.

More Siri tips.

Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

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2 Responses

  1. Ronald Quint says:

    Haha! Funny! I was using Apple maps the other day and siri says Los Angeles without the short (a), as in Losngeles.

  1. September 1, 2016

    […] Next week will also see a slightly different set of voices debut for Siri. These more human-like voices will use databases to deliver less robotic conversation. This also means Siri is expected to learn how to say “Barbra Streisand” correctly, ending another Siri saga. […]

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