Barbra Streisand convinces Apple to change how Siri says her name

WASHINGTON — Anyone who has ever talked to Siri or other smartphone personal assistants knows sometimes names aren’t pronounced correctly.

Most of us just laugh — but Barbra Streisand didn’t find it funny.

The singer told NPR she got tired of hearing Siri “pronounce my name wrong.”

Streisand said the correct pronunciation of the second syllable is “Streisand with a soft S, like sand on the beach,” instead of the “Z” sound.

“I’ve been saying this for my whole career,” she said to NPR.

Streisand said she contacted Apple’s CEO.

“I called the head of Apple, Tim Cook, and he delightfully agreed to have Siri change the pronunciation of my name, finally,” Streisand said in the interview with NPR.

According to the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award-winner, the correct pronunciation will be included “with the next update on September 30th.” Apple has not announced when a new iOS update will be released.

For those of us without Streisand’s talent, name, or chutzpah, it has been easy to get Siri to correct a pronunciation since 2013, with the introduction of iOS 7.

If Siri mispronounces your name, or someone else’s, here’s what to do:

  1.  Say “that’s not how you pronounce (insert the name).”
  2.  When Siri prompts, pronounce the name the way it should be.
  3.  Siri will offer both options, and ask you to Select your preferred pronunciation.
  4.  Siri will confirm how he or she will pronounce it in the future.

Of course, that correction will only be “remembered” on the user’s phone.

To correct the pronunciation on all iPhones, it clearly pays to know someone at Apple.

h/t Mashable

Follow @WTOP on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

© 2016 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

Federal News Network Logo

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up