Whether you’re in business or live in a multicultural area, pronouncing somebody’s name correctly goes a long way to helping build relationships. Get it wrong and you get a dirty look or much worse. At the very least you get embarrassed. Get it right and you take the first step in getting to know a new friend. To help with that, here are six websites to help you pronounce names correctly.
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We have all been in the situation. You see a name on the guest list or at a work meeting and wonder how on earth you pronounce it. You either end up not calling them by name at all, or calling them ‘buddy’ or something random. In most social situations, this doesn’t look good, which is what this post is all about.
Use any of these websites and you need never pronounce a name wrong again!
Hear Names is an exceptionally useful site as it allows you to enter just about any name you are ever likely to come across and will pronounce it out loud. The site design is simple but effective. Type the name into the search box in the gray band and hit Enter. The site will come up with a few variations if there are any and you can play back any of them. That’s all there is to it.
Hear Names contains hundreds of languages and regional names including many that we hear regularly in our cities. It is quite the resource!
Pronounce Names is another very popular website to help you pronounce names correctly. Like Hear Names, you can type in a name and be taken to one or several audio recordings of it being spoken. There is also a list of popular names that appears on the home page.
Pronounce Names also offers spelling and written pronunciation advice for many of the entries. There is also a section where you can add a recording of a pronunciation you know well to help others.
The Name Engine
The Name Engine is another very popular pronunciation website with a simple design and easy navigation. It too has a search function on the main page and a list of popular names. It also features popular celebrity names or names of public figures and a list of sports and cultural areas to choose from.
The audio is clear and of a good quality too and has a reputation for accuracy which is very important on a site such as this. I use this site a lot when meeting foreign clients or traveling as it lets me learn a new word or two. It’s the thought that counts after all!
Voice of America
Most of you will know the Voice of America website but fewer know that it also contains a pronunciation minisite. There is a search function and a list of popular names that it can help you with. There is also a helpful list of countries on the right side should you want to explore the language of a particular region further.
The resource is a good one with reliable pronunciations and easy navigation. It is yet another useful element of an impressive website. The search function is fast and usability is great. Not much more we can ask really.
PronounceItRight does exactly what it says on the tin. Like the other websites in this list, it has a search function and lists of popular names on its main page. It also has a range of useful tips for anyone traveling to different parts of the world which adds value if that’s what you’re doing.
Pronunciation is accurate and often sounds as though spoken by native speakers of that region. PronounceItRight has an added benefit of containing words of things as well as people. Ideal if you are planning to travel.
Ingolo is another travel-oriented website to help you pronounce names correctly. Like PronounceItRight, it also has pronunciations of things and places as well as names. Type the word into the box in the center and hit Enter. You will then be taken to a page listing the word and/or ones like it. Make a selection and listen to the audio.
The quality of the audio is good and apparently accurate. There is also a list of popular words in the Explore Names menu which covers many aspects of society. A useful resource for any foreign language student.
Use any one of those six websites to help you pronounce names correctly and you should never be embarrassed again. They are fast, easy to navigate and contain a huge range of words from almost every country in the world. Isn’t the internet fantastic?