|Student Name||Our Best Guess Pronunciation||Hear it|
|John Smith||John Smith|
|Cate Allen||Kate Allen|
|Nichole Alysse Adams||Nicole uh-LEESE Adams|
|Putri Alghamdi||poo-TREE ahl GAHM-dee|
|Mathieu Weinstein||Matthew WINE-stine|
As a dean at an American university, you know how important commencement day is to your graduating students and their families. And you probably also know about the perennial problem of pronouncing the names of students correctly at commencement exercises. We can make one aspect of commencement day less stressful for you. NameSayer can help you pronounce the names of your graduates.
Universities have been using our services since 2007.
While the only foolproof way to get accurate name pronunciations is to ask each student how they pronounce their name, most colleges are not able to undertake that exercise. Consequently, at commencement time, a dean is faced with the daunting task of pronouncing names of students from many ethnic backgrounds.
We'd be happy to speak to you about these services. Contact us
- Option 1. You have access to our online tool. You can enter your student names, hear our "best guess" pronounciation and see a phonetic spelling. In many, many cases, our pronunciation is better than the average, educated English speaker, because we have spent years researching name pronunciation.
However, our online system is not perfect. First, because it's an automated system that uses phonics rules to pronounce many names, it makes mistakes that an intelligent human would not make. Although our system is very, very good, it still mispronounces roughly 8% of names. Second, many names in the US have more than one pronunciation: for example, obvious ones like Weinstein (WINE-stine or WINE-steen) or Andrea (ANN-dree-uh or ahn-DRAY-uh), less obvious ones like Macomber (mah-KAHM-ber, MAY-kahm-ber, MA kahm-ber), Shapiro (shah-PEER-oh, shah-PIE-ro), and others representing different degrees of Anglicization for names of foreign origin (you can probably imagine the different pronunciations for Pugliese, Bernier, Perez, Cai, Phong, Saephan, Rashid). An individual person may use a pronunciation that's different from the one our system produces.
- Option 2. You send us a list of names and we give you web-based access to audio and human-readable phonetics for each name. For this option, we provide our expert best guess at each name and also indicate whether that pronunciation is unique, so that you could know how likely it is that an individual student pronounces his/her name that way. This service would ensure that there are no "klunkers" and would also give you an idea of how unique a pronunciation is.
- Option 3. Same as option 2, but also you tell students: "if you want to ensure that your name is pronounced correctly at graduation, call up E-Speech and leave a message indicating how you want your name pronounced." We set up a special phone number for this purpose. This service would guarantee that an individual student's name is pronounced the way he/she pronounces it.