How to Help Google Assistant Recognize Your Contacts with Phonetic Names


It’s annoying enough to hear how people just can’t seem to get your friends’ names right. To make things even worse, you also have to listen to Google not getting it right either. You make sure to spell it correctly so that Google correctly pronounces it, but that doesn’t work.

Before you throw your phone at the wall in a moment of frustration, know that there is a way to have Google pronounce your contacts’ names right. Adding phonetic names to your contacts can help fix this problem and stop those ridiculous pronunciations.

How to Add Phonetic Names to Your Contacts

Adding a phonetic name to your contacts is a lot easier than it sounds. It’s going to help Google Assistant to pronounce contact names correctly, so it can finally get it right. Since this isn’t going to apply to all of your contacts, open up the one that has that unique name by opening your Contacts app.

Tap on the “Edit” button at the top, followed by the “More” button at the bottom of your contact. You’ll suddenly see more options appear. Within those options, you’ll see the options to add a phonetic name, middle name, and last name.


In that section, just add how your contact’s name is pronounced, in phonetic spelling. In layman’s terms, phonetic spelling is simply spelling words the way they sound. For example, if you have a name in French that Google just can’t get right, you can try adding a “sh” beginning to the name to help Google’s assistant pronounce it correctly.

Not all names have alternative spellings, if that particular contact’s name doesn’t, just type the name the way you think it should be pronounced. Adding a phonetic name has not been a sure fix for all Android users, but it will push Google’s Assistant in the right direction when it comes to pronouncing your contacts’ names.

There is one thing to keep in mind if you’re going to add a phonetic name to a contact. The People app on your Android device will list the contact according to the phonetic name you entered. If you try to look for the contact with the name you originally stored it with, you’re not going to be able to find it.

An extra tip for accessing the right contact is by adding a nickname. It’s obviously not a phonetic name, but it’s an alternative if you have problems with the phonetic option. Open the Google app and tap on the mic. Say something like “Mike Whatever is my brother.” Don’t forget to select “Done” under “Remember a relationship,” and now you only have to say something like “message my brother.”


Unfortunately, not all names are easy to spell, much less pronounce. If you have trouble pronouncing specific names, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Google’s Assistant also has the same issue. Phonetic names should help so that the next time that particular contact’s name is pronounced, it’s done correctly. Do you think phonetic names make much of a difference? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Fabio Buckell

Just a simple guy that can't enough of Technology in general and is always surrounded by at least one Android and iOS device. I'm a Pizza addict as well.

One comment

  1. How can I teach Google to pronounce certain words like for instance, the word, staccato which it pronounces stuck at o

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