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Friday, February 24, 2017

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How to Teach Google Home the Right way of Pronouncing Your Name

Oyetoke Tobi - Friday, February 24, 2017

One of the most common problems all voice assistant services are having, though some are still better than others, is how unnatural and robotic they sound, speak and pronounce. While the pronunciation of some certain words, particularly names, can be quite strident and not fluent.

Almost all Voice Virtual assistant have this problem including Google Now, but of course there is always a way round. The solution is you can teach it how to pronounce your name or give yourself a nickname if it has trouble pronouncing your name the proper way.

Just like Cortana on Windows and Siri on Mac, you can also teach Google Now on Google Home on how to pronounce your names correctly if it has issues pronouncing it properly. However, unlike other voice assistant, there are two ways to fix it. You can either teach it the correct pronunciation of your name or simply give yourself a simple nickname it can address you.

Here’s how to teach Google Now on Google Home the correct pronunciation of your name.

How to Use a Nickname with Google Now

The basic of using a nickname is to use a simple or short name that Google Now can pronounce accurately. So if there’s shortened version of your name or you have a simple nickname people used to call, you should try and let Google Now addresses you with that name. And setting a nickname might be the easiest solution for you.

To do this, open the Google Home app on your Android or iOS device.

Then head over to More settings > Personal Info.

Then click on Nickname.

Now enter your nickname or the shortened form of your name in the field.

Then tap on Play to check out the pronunciation.

So from now on, anytime Google Assistant wants to address you by your name, either through Google Home or any supported Android device, it will use what you entered.

How to spell out the phonetic pronunciation if you are using your real name

If you want to use your real, you’ll have to spell out the phonetic pronunciation of your name. You should be able to see the option to spell out how your name is pronounced

Now, enter your name in the field provided and tap on the “Spell it out radio” button. Then type out the phonetic spelling of your name i.e. using the English alphabet, not the International Phonetic Alphabet.

For instance, if your name is Mikael, Google Now will pronounce it the same way as Michael. So to fix this, enter "Meekai ale", in the Spell it out field.

Then click the blue Play button to hear how it is pronounced by Google Now. You may also have to tweak the pronunciation spelling or even add spaces to separate syllables better.

There are some names such as “Taylor”, which are very common and easy to pronounce phonetically. However, Google Now is still having problem pronouncing it well and has its own funny way of pronouncing it. It pronounces it more like “Teller”, instead of the normal way “Tay-lor.” So to fix this, I had to enter “Tay lor” or “Tay ler”. So I add a space between them in order to get the common pronunciation we are used to.



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