William Shakespeare came off easily with his all-time famous one-liner, “What’s in a name?”. People of today’s age would have far better experience with the kind of trouble they encounter when quoting a person. With over 6,500 recognized languages in all across the world, regional dialect is what clearly reflects how a person’s name is pronounced.
You might have come across people butchering your name, because it was too hard for them to spell it. This gaffe sometimes even extends to Live TV and TV shows when Neil Patrick Harris was slammed for his mispronunciation of ‘Chiwetel Ejiofor’ at the 87th Academy Awards in 2015.
If you’ve heard about Russell Peters, the Canadian-based stand-up comedian, then you might have come across his comedy routine on Indian names in American accent. He goes on to say, “I like the Indian names, they have deep meaning and a long history behind them … but ‘Sukhdeep’? The ‘H’ doesn’t help. And I used to think Sukhdeep was the funniest name I’d ever heard, until a few weeks ago and I [kid] you not: the dude’s name was Hardik. Who the hell names their kid Hardik?”
Here are 10 Best Name Pronunciation tools
So, you get the gist of it. If you happen to be a blogger who participates in Interviews or conducts Podcasts, or any other guy who has a hard time figuring out how someone’s name is spelled, these are the 10 Best Name pronunciation tools to save you from your embarrassments.
With over 3 Million pronounced words by native speakers in 325 languages, including major languages such as English, Mandarin Chinese, German, Spanish, French and many more. Forvo is easily one of the must-have tools for getting your pronunciations right. This app is a great tool to learn how to pronounce words from a wide array of categories including common words, phrases and names. Never go wrong again in your pronunciations, no matter which dialect the word is based from.
The words are categorized as ‘Top words’ in all languages and once you select a word, you will be provided with the best pronunciation among pronunciations in other dialects. There is also a ‘Language of the day’ section in the web interface, that lets you learn interesting facts and pronunciation of popular words in that dialect.
Key Features: 2.5 Million+ words, 325 languages, pronounced by native speakers, Wide array of categories to choose from.
2. Pronounce Names
Pronounce Names is another pretty popular free web tool that allows you to interpret the phonetic pronunciation of different types of names. Their database has pronunciations for over 100,000 names and many more are added to it daily. Users also have the option to upload their own version of a regional dialect pronunciation for the same word. This tool is only for pronunciation of words based in English.
With a premium Android application available for the tool, users can check for pronunciation of names on the go.
Key Features: Includes Phonetic spellings and audio recordings of over 100,000 names, ability to upload your own WAP/MP3 recording of a pronunciation.
Supported Platforms: Web and Android.
Pricing: Free Web app, $2.99 for Android app.
3. How To Pronounce
How to pronounce is a great web application to get the audio and text pronunciation, meaning and other information related to wiki pages, synonyms and antonyms for the searched word. This free web application supports many major languages including English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and more. The tool features pronunciation for a plethora of words, names, places and medical terminology.
Users can also contribute to this network by uploading their own recordings as regional dialect pronunciation for a specific word. You can also view your most searched and Favorited words easily.
Key Features: Audio and text pronunciations along with their meanings, share pronunciation and meaning with friends, Multilingual support for many languages.
Supported Platforms: Web
4. Pronounce by VOA News
Pronounce by VOA news is one of the great free web tools for learning more about pronunciation of places and names. Founded in 2000, this Pronounce tool has a plethora of words and names to find from. You can also browse by what is trending, by region or choosing to browse all of them alphabetically. This tool allows pronunciation of names from all major countries like USA, UK, Germany, France, Spain, India, China and many more.
When looked upon a word, a ‘plus’ sign is available which brings out further information about a looked-up word, like information from a Wiki page, its pronunciation in text and the audio associated with it.
Key Features: Audio and text pronunciation for names and places, Search for words, Browse by top words or by location, Wiki information about a name or place if available.
Supported Platforms: Web
5. Howjsay Audio Pronunciation
Howjsay audio is a US patented technology that uses pairing of heteronyms (e.g. Tear, Live – Words with same spellings but different pronunciation as per context) to provide an accurate pronunciation of words. With over 170,000 individually recorded pronunciation for words, Howjsay is a genuine tool for perfect name pronunciations. The tool is mainly for English words and does feature a few German, French and Spanish words.
You can view your pronunciation search history and latest additions could be easily retrieved online. An internet connection is always needed for the working of its mobile app.
Key Features: 170,000 recorded words and phrases, Auto-complete and spell checker, pronunciation history, Words from different categories include Medical, legal, places, jargon and names.
Pricing: Free Web application, $2.99 on Android play store and $2.99 on Apple App store.
6. Baby names+
Although you might mistake it as something for parents to decide on their child name, this app would help you with the pronunciation of names just as much. You can search from over 60,000 boy and girl names. Once you find your result, you will be presented with the text pronunciation of the name, along with the meaning of the name and the popularity and trending information for the name. The tool features names from all major countries like USA, UK, Germany, China, France, Spain and many more.
You can also choose to search for names based on geographic locations. Number of births and percentage of births for that name is also provided with the result of a name. A great free app for all the parents, as well as for those trying to figure out how to pronounce a name.
Key Features: Over 60,000 boy and girl names, Pronunciation by text, popularity and meaning of names and social sharing.
Supported Platforms: iPhone and iPad.
7. Namika Indian Baby names
Namika is one of the most popular iPhone baby naming app for Indian names. In the beginning where we talked about Russell Peters joking about how Indian names are morphed in Western accent, one guy took it seriously and built this app. Use Namika to discover the pronunciation and meaning of Indian boy and girl names. This tool is primarily for Indian names and their pronunciation as it should be in a Western accent.
The app also provides with a western accent pronunciation for the names which should be enough to stop anyone from butchering your name next time. Search for boy and girl names and share the results with your friends.
Key Features: Listen to Indian name pronunciations in Western accent, Instantly search for Indian boy and girl names, Discover meaning of Indian Hindi names, Share pronunciations with friends.
Supported Platforms: iPhone
8. Sounds: Pronunciation app
Sounds: The pronunciation app is a free app developed by the well-renowned Macmilan education. Sounds are the basic foundations to pronouncing of words and this app exactly teaches you how to pronounce words properly be it places or names. Look up over 650 free words in the Wordlist and learn how they are pronounced, both in British and American English.
The app also allows you to record your pronunciation and compare with the ones already stored in the app. The phonemic chart allows you to listen to all the sounds that come together to make a word. Long-pressing a phonemic term lets you listen to a word that is based on it. A great free app for teachers and students to learn the basics of pronunciation and explore with quizzes and practice tests.
Key Features: Interactive Phonemic chart, Pronunciation for both British and American English, More than 650 wordlists, In-app additional wordlist purchases, Quizzes and practice activities.
Inogolo is a great free web-based and iOS-based application that lets users search for pronunciation of names, places and stuff. With over 13,000 names covering 80% of first names in U.S and covering more than 50% of the last names in U.S, Inogolo is a great free app for learning how to pronounce the names of people. This tool is primarily for names based in American English.
Apart from names, this tool also contains famous words across different categories like Fashion, Wine, Brands, Popular Music and Geographic locations. A ‘favorite’ allows you to favorite your words and later access them easily.
Key Features: Search for pronunciation of names, places and stuff, Phonetic Pronunciation for over 13,000 names, Pronunciation of words for fashion, brands, wine and geographic locations available.
Supported Platforms: Web and iOS.
10. Bible Audio Pronunciation
This app is an all new way to read your sacred Bible. There are many Biblical terms, names and places that are too hard to spell correctly (Say, Epaenetus?). Bible audio pronunciation allows users to learn the pronunciations of some of the most challenging terms in the Bible. The tool is primarily for Biblical terms and their Anglicized words.
The app developers are on a mission to cover the pronunciation and information regarding every proper noun in the Holy Bible!
Key Features: Over 4,500+ spoken pronunciations for challenging Biblical terms, names and places, more information regarding a Biblical term with an easy tap.
Pricing: Free for Lite versions, $0.99 on Google play store and $2.99 on Apple App store.
SEE ALSO: 5 Best Android Alarm Clock Apps
So, here we come to an end to the list of tools that will help you learn the pronunciation of a name. Do we have left out any of your favorite tools or have any thoughts or comments regarding these tools? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences below.