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Butchered names no more: Facebook testing name pronunciation guide

Have a confusingly long name that even your friends can't pronounce? A new Facebook feature spotted by some users is designed to help.
/ Source: TODAY

Have a confusingly long first name you never use -- or a consonant-heavy last name -- that even your friends can't pronounce? A new Facebook feature recently spotted on some users' profiles is designed to help.

Some Facebookers who received a prompt to try out the new feature turned to the other big social network -- Twitter -- to express their confusion.

"We've begun a small test of a feature that lets you indicate how your name is pronounced," a Facebook spokesperson told TODAY." Facebook often rolls out features to a small number of users at first to test the new function before opening it up to everyone.

Select Facebookers (chosen among only English speakers in the United States for now) were invited to choose the correct pronunciation of their names from a sample of phonetic spellings and audio clips. Or, if Facebook's suggestions are hopelessly wrong, users can write in their own phonetics for both first and last name.

Once the form is complete, Facebook generates an audio clip preview of the new pronunciation guide -- and both the phonetic spelling and the audio clip are then displayed on users' profiles.


Wondering if you're part of the test? Facebook told TODAY users can check: Go to the web version of Facebook, visit your own profile page, select the "About" tab and click "Details About You." Users who are part of the test will see the option: "How do you say your name?" that leads to the pronunciation form.

Some users asked: If you're actually friends with someone, why the heck wouldn't they already know how to pronounce your name?

But the pronunciation guide isn't just for friends. In users' screenshots, Facebook notes "name pronunciations are always public and let people know how to say your name."

Of course, you're free to skip filling out the guide if you have access to the feature but would rather your name remain an oft-butchered mystery.