Tired of constantly asking, how to get Alexa to pronounce my name correctly? Are you already fed up that your virtual assistant doesn’t even say your name in the right way?
Don’t worry, because after you finish reading this guide, you can be given the assurance that Alexa will pronounce your name correctly.
To make Alexa say and pronounce your name correctly, you can modify the spelling of your name for her to read. Alternatively, you can also respell the SSML markup of your name.
Today’s your lucky day, because, in this guide, we will not only be discussing a single method. We’ll lay out all the different options you have so you can pick. It will be at your discretion what method you want to go for.
Before we get to that though, let us first understand the way Alexa figures out pronunciations.
Alexa’s voice is controlled by Speech Synthesis Markup Language or SSML.
This SSML provides a standard set of markups in which AI can use to construct sentences in a more nuanced and lifelike way.
While Alexa automatically includes standard punctuation, using SSML is far ahead. This technology allows Alexa’s statements to be changed, such as long pauses, formatting (such as phone numbers), and pronunciation.
You can access Alexa’s SSML by using the Alexa Skills Kit. This software, directly available from Amazon, is essentially a method of installing “apps” on Alexa.
Users can input customized skill prompts and responses to get their device to do nonstandard tasks such as playing games.
Alexa’s SSML is comprised of 16 unique tags for different customizable functions.
Alexa does have a built-in correction program outside of the Skills Kit – and it’s called Deep Learning.
It is part of what makes artificial intelligence intelligent. Alexa can learn new skills independently without you having to input them directly.
To help you with it even further, here’s a quick summary of how it works.
- Alexa will ask some variation of “Is that right?”
- You can tell her “Yes,” and she’ll continue using that answer or pronunciation
- If you say “no,” she will correct and try a different solution
If you have a name from a language outside of English, or even an English name with an unusual pronunciation, you may find Alexa’s constant mispronunciation frustrating.
You may even get to the point of googling, “how do I get Alexa to pronounce my name correctly?”
Fret not, because here are the three different ways of how you can set your virtual assistant to pronounce and state your name correctly.
NOTE: Originally, it’s just two ways. There is a third way to do it, but it isn’t ideal. More information on that is presented below.
One relatively simple way to correct Alexa’s pronunciation of your name is to spell it out phonetically when you register it in your “Communicate” settings.
Example: If your name is Sara (Sah-rah), and Alexa mispronounces it, spell your name out. State it as Sah-rah and Alexa will be able to understand it better.
To confirm that you’ve made the appropriate changes, you can follow these steps:
- Ask, “Alexa, what’s my name?”
- Your Alexa will respond with: “Your name is [selected name]. This is [account owner]’s account.”
This solution is trial and error to see which spelling gets Alexa closest to your actual name.
It’s essential to be aware that changing your name’s spelling also means major changes. These changes include a couple of functions, like automatic signatures, which will be identified as misspelled names.
Pro Tip : Be sure to change it to the correct spelling if you need to use those functions.
Luckily, it’s relatively easy to make this change, and there are no limits to how often you can do it.
If you’re familiar with coding at all, then this method is for you. You can consider coding your name’s proper pronunciation into your Alexa using SSML.
To use SSML for a name change, you’ll have to add a phoneme tag to it.
Phonemes are distinct units of sound, smaller than words. There are 44 phonemes in the English language, each with a corresponding symbol in phonetic markup.
You can set Alexa to read either the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) or the Extended Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet (X-SAMPA). You can also find a list of the symbols recognized by Alexa’s SSML on the Alexa developer documentation website.
Simply find the symbols to spell out your name phonetically, then write a command telling Alexa to use that pronunciation for your name.
Your command may look something like this, as in an example provided by Code Motion:
<speak> This is how <phoneme alphabet="ipa" ph=" təˈbaɪ əs">Tobias</phoneme> is pronounced in English. In German, it is pronounced <phoneme alphabet="ipa" ph="toˈbiːas">Tobias</phoneme>. </speak>
From there, you can confirm your name! It’s as if you changed the spelling and adjusted your pronunciation input until your name is said correctly every time.
This step may take a few tries, especially if you are unfamiliar with the coding language, but it will be worth it to have the correct version of your name added to Alexa’s lexicon.
Not to mention that it’s more precise and accurate.
Last, but most definitely not least is the classic method, which is by using an external file.
One of the simplest and easiest ways to get Alexa to pronounce your name correctly is through playback.
Playback is like an audio file that you upload into the system. And, since you are to upload it alongside your virtual assistant, she can imitate it.
Using the Skills Kit, you can upload an audio file of you saying your name. It can be your nickname or a name that you prefer.
Then, you can instruct Alexa to play that file whenever she would typically say it. Sounds easy, right? No, it’s actually more complex than that.
This will sound somewhat jarring, but the success rate of this method will depend on the quality of the audio file.
Not to mention the voice used to narrate and state it. Still, if the mispronunciation is particularly frustrating, it can be a good solution, at least temporarily.
These are the different ways of how you can get Alexa to pronounce your name properly. Whatever method you choose, you’ll now be able to straighten out Alexa’s version of your name’s pronunciation.
Read Next: How To Fix Alexa Blue Ring Of Death?
For you to get Alexa to pronounce your name correctly, you can do one (1) of three (3) things: spell out your name to Alexa when you’re trying to set and establish it, use SSML codes to force it, and by using the Skills Kit (for advanced users).
If you’re still wondering, “how to get Alexa to pronounce my name correctly,” you have our guide.
You can now refer to it for future problems that are anywhere close or related to this.
By either changing the spelling of your name, the SSML pronunciation guide for it, or simply providing an audio file, you can stop hearing the incorrect version every time you try to access your device.
The best part is, you can do it on your own; no need for the help or assistance of an expert.