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I have WP7.5, with which I'm generally happy - except when I want to call somebody while driving. WP7's speech interpreter (does she have a name? like Siri for Apple?) insists on a certain pronunciation of names which do not reflect the way those names are supposed to be pronounced, and too often I get the "Can't find that name in the contact list".

Can the WP8 speech handler be trained in how a name is supposed to sound?

Specifically, my last name is spelled Teutsch. It's supposed to sound like Toy-tsh (think Deutschland). But the voice insists on a sound like Due-tsh.

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    Can you give some examples, then we can try them out on a WP8 device and let you know? – Neil Turner Jan 9 '14 at 17:22
  • I'm using my phone in English but I'm Brazilian. So many names here has no exactly pronunciation in English. If I pretend I'm American it works just fine. – Vitor Canova Jan 10 '14 at 0:00
  • @vitor: I know this is silly, but it really bugs me that I have to say my name "wrong", so that my phone understands. To me this is a major fail. My previous phone, a blackberry, allowed me to teach it. – erict Jan 21 '14 at 1:31
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It has been my experience that speech is much better in 8 than previously. However unless you have a more common name, or your name is easily pronounceable/spellable. Unique proper names are still difficult.

Please note however, that speech is handled by Bing. Your voice representation is sent to a Microsoft server. So voice translation improvements can happen without an update to your phone. Microsoft has been upgrading this service quite often in the past year.

  • I agree that it appears significantly improved - based on anecdotal experience, saying a common name on WP7.8 ("Call Lauren") resulted in no feedback, while doing the same thing on WP8 Update 3 gave the correct response. – Cindy Jayakumar Jan 15 '14 at 5:17

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