Siri’s ability to understand what you’re telling it and respond in a natural way is often uncanny, but it’s far from perfect. We’ve all experienced occasions where Siri mangles the pronunciation or spelling of names and atypical words.

Fortunately, it’s possible to set Siri straight when it gets words wrong. Here’s how to teach Siri new words and pronunciations.

How to change Siri’s pronunciation

When Siri pronounces a word or name incorrectly, hop straight back in with a verbal statement to the effect of: “That’s not how you say X” (with X being the word in question) or “You said that wrong”.

Siri will then ask if you can teach it how to pronounce the word properly, to which you should agree (obviously). Siri will then ask you to repeat the word in question.

At this point, you’ll be offered a range of pronunciation options in a written list format. Work through each item, pressing the Play button to preview the various pronunciations. When you find one that sounds right, press Select.

Note that if you’re correcting a contact with multiple components (a first, middle and surname for example), Siri will work through each part with you. It’s all pretty self-explanatory.

How to correct Siri’s spelling

You can also change the way Siri spells words or names for dictation purposes – such as the spelling of Louis (as Siri renders it) as Louie. Start by heading into Contacts and hitting the + button to add a new entry.

Type in the word or name in the way that you want it spelled as the First name. Then scroll down and hit add field.

In the Add Field screen, hit Phonetic first name, tap the mic button in the bottom right corner, and dictate the word. Hit Done.

Now, when using Siri for dictation, it should spell the word or name as you would prefer it used. Note that the two words don’t have to have any relationship, so you could tie the use of a nick-name to a proper name.