Dictation on iOS

This situation is maddening but dictation in iOS is not what it could be. I speak Spanish as a second language and my dictation, using the Apple app, is far more effective than it is in English which I find to be absurd! My Spanish is good but not that good! (Anyone interested in an intercambio inglés y español?) I wish there was something available for the iOS platform or is there? Any hints for smoother dictation? Does Apple have any plans for improving dictation? In iOS 12 just maybe? Any help would be most appreciated!

This is likely a linguistics problem rather than a Siri problem, because your Spanish is not as good you probably make more of an effort with pronunciation and enunciation - whereas most native speakers of a language will slur, and mumble somewhat because the brain can fill in the gaps which leads to a worse dictation experience :slight_smile:


David Sparks often speaks of Dragon Anywhere. Might be a better choice.

I really don’t, Rosemary. I’d like to think my Spanish is better than I think. It use to be really good but I’m rusty. Thanks for your response! :slight_smile:

Thanks so much, John!

Hey @Katie my first language is Spanish and some days it’s better for dictation and other days English works best. I think some days my brain just has trouble with pronunciation depending which language I’ve been speaking.

I’m currently researching the best way to dictate long passages. I can’t justify Dragon Anywhere so if you found something that works I’d love to know.

Saludos desde Vancouver, BC

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Hi there, Mau!

I was stunned by the price of Dragon Anywhere! I certainly can’t justify it either. They know that people need it as writers or for work rather than making it available for a lot of people.
No, I haven’t found a way to deal with it. The dictation is atrocious in English and is very good in Spanish, in my experience. I have discovered that if I am wording something similar to a college term paper– the English dictation is better. If I am writing a letter or a journal piece, it just can’t handle it. The way in which you experience it is interesting.
I called Apple Care about something else; I complimented them on the Spanish dictation and complained about the English. I don’t even think the representative wrote it down. I also wrote a letter to Apple. I believe that sometime in the future it will improve. I certainly hope so.
Saludos desde Chicago! I wish my Spanish were as great as your English! But I love it!
Parlez vous français? D’ove il formaggio? LOL!


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Have you tried the dictation in Drafts? I think it’s the same as the rest of the iPhone/iPad but worth a look since it behaves slightly differently from normal dictation in the rest of the system.


In particular in Drafts the dictation can carry on for longer than the normal Siri Dictation limit.


Do you needs Drafts 5 for that?

I believe that dictation is the same in 4 and 5

Thanks so very much, Niall!

HI, Mau!

Did you hear? iOS 13 is coming out with its own dictation!

MacSparky did a YouTube video about it. You can see it on his blog.

Saludos desde Chicago donde hay una cantidad de calor!

I just saw it yesterday and it blew my mind! Finally long dictation times in any app. I would be happy with just this version but knowing they’ll improve it is like the cherry on top.

I wonder if Spanish will work the same? I would think so.

Aquí en Vancouver el verano ha sido extraño, hubo días de calor pero no tantos como otros años. Agosto suele ser el mes más caliente asi que veremos. El clima está muy impredecible.
Cual es la mejor temporada para visitar Chicago?


You’re right, Mau! I didn’t even think of the improvements they’ll make!

I call AppleCare for a wide variety of questions. I love them! I get to pick the brains of all these really smart people although occasionally I have better instincts which astounds me!

One day I called and at the end of the conversation I complained about the dictation. It didn’t seem like they were writing any of it down! Maybe they were!

I wasn’t really expecting much for ios 13. So we’ll be looking forward to it!

I’m sure they’ll have it for Spanish, seeing it is such a major language.

Do you speak French? Geography was never my forté.

I took French 101 in college just for fun. I walked in one day and there was a surprise quiz on the days of the week and the months of the year. Ah oh!

So in a panic, I wrote them in Spanish! The prof, Dr. Johnson, told me after the next class that my Spanish was really good, that there must have been some language confusion and that I should show the test to my Spanish teacher. I had taken Spanish in high school and loved it. I felt like telling him that my Spanish teacher wouldn’t have been impressed! Very nice prof!

Lo que me encanta a mí es la primavera, especialmente mayo pero en Chicago casi saltamos esta estación. Chicago tiene una clima más o menos dura. El otoño es bonito y yo lo recomendaría. Pero casi tenemos dos estaciones – el invierno y el verano. Todo está efectuado por el Lago Michigan.

Tenemos buena comida especialmente la pizza!

Naciste en Canadá? No recuerdo.


My dictation problem is that when using Siri and saying my son’s name ‘Reuben’ it always spells it Ruben, then I need to go through the whole document and make the correction to the correct spelling which is ‘ REUBEN ‘.

Does anybody know how to correct this?

Somebody was talking about ‘pronunciation’, which I didn’t realise could be edited via the contacts. I went ahead and did this but it still did not correct the problem.

I’ve illustrated this using notes and Siri dictation so that you can see what I mean.

I’d love if somebody could solve this problem.

I’m not sure if this would work with dictation or not, but have you tried going into Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement, and set up Reuben in the “Phrase” box and “Ruben” in the Shortcut box. That might “trick” the system into autocorrecting it to the correct spelling.

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Yes I did try that and it did not work.

I was advised by somebody else to enter the contacts and add a field and correct the first name phonetically and by pronunciation. I then went into general, settings and switched off dictation… And then switched it back on again.

This solved the problem. Now, whenever I say Reuben it appears to be corrected automatically. What is exactly what I wanted.