VO not pronouncing the new year properly?

iOS and iPadOS

So, its a minor bug, and kind of amusing, but has anyone else noticed that ever since we've moved in to this new year, Samantha can't quite pronounce it? The year twenty twenty is pronounced as twentieth twenty. I've seen this on an iPhone 10S running iOS 13.3. If you haven't yet experienced this, open the calendar app and check the current month.
Minor bug, but one which will grab your attention.



Submitted by Jimmy V on Thursday, January 2, 2020

I havent experienced this on my i phone 8 running 13.3. I use Alex as my voice and he doesn't seam to have this problem
Maybe it's only a samantha bug?

Submitted by OldBear on Thursday, January 2, 2020

I'm using an iPhone7 with the default Samantha. She says, January two-thousand-twenty.

Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Friday, January 3, 2020

I haven't seen this, & I use Ava Enhanced as my voice of choice.

Submitted by Roberta on Friday, January 3, 2020

Samantha does this on my iPhone X as well.

Submitted by Eileen😷 on Friday, January 3, 2020

The Kate voice is doing something similar on macOS.

Submitted by Khushi on Friday, January 3, 2020

yep, I'm also experiencing it with Siri female US voice! it says 20th 20 for I don't know what reason!
just checked it in my calendar app!

funny bug

Submitted by jigneshpadhiyar on Friday, January 3, 2020

I am using iPhone 8 Plus and it is running iOS 13.3. There is no issue. Siri clearly pronounces twenty-twenty. Using Indian English (female) voice. Probably, you can change the Accent and see if Siri pronounces correct.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Friday, January 3, 2020

I use the iPhone XS, 13.3, with original Samantha. She pronounces the year the same as the original author indicated.

Submitted by Jim D on Friday, January 3, 2020

Thanks to all of you who have confirmed you are experiencing this as well. Sounds like it is only occurring with just a few voices. I'll send Apple Accessibility an email later today reporting this little bug.
Thanks and make it a great day!

Submitted by J.P. on Friday, January 3, 2020

Some of the American voices have major pronunciation issues with 13, Samantha being the worst. Been reported to Apple on multiple occasions.
How in capitals reading H O V. Gun spelling G U N. A rather large list.

Submitted by Geoff on Friday, January 3, 2020


This is being caused by the speech synthesiser trying to be too clever. It is seeing the month name and then a number afterwards, and is assuming that the first part of the number is the date within that month.

Consider the following text:

January 2020

This is the word January, written out in full, followed by a space and then the digits 2 0 2 0. This also works if you just write Jan.

I have several English voices on my phone. The compact ones all say it correctly. The enhanced versions of the Lee and Karen voices both say "January twentieth twenty ".
The worst example I have found on my phone is the UK female Siri voice, which says "the twentieth of January twenty".

This kind of assumption has been around for years, even in eloquence, but this is the worst effect I have ever seen.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Friday, January 3, 2020

The only issue is tom who says January as januar but everything is read correctly otherwise.

Submitted by Jeff on Friday, January 3, 2020

The incorrect pronunciation doesn't occur everywhere, so those reporting they aren't seeing the problem might not be encountering the situation where it does occur. As pointed out in comment 13 above, I think it's a matter of the synth attempting to be too smart. If it sees a month followed by a number, it's assuming the number is a day of the month and not the year. So, this happens in the calendar where the month is followed by the year without a day of the month. The year heading is pronounced correctly in the calendar because there's no preceding month in the heading.

Likewise, Siri pronounces the date correctly when asked for the date. Voiceover pronounces it correctly on the lock screen because it includes the day of the month along with the year.

I don't think it's strictly a particular voice, but rather, some of the voices (perhaps the enhanced voices) are trying to be too smart and making incorrect assumptions.

Submitted by OldBear on Saturday, January 4, 2020

My calander says January two-thousand-twenty, but I think I am using compact Samantha.
Fred says it correctly
Siri Female says twentieth twenty
Funny though, Samantha says milibars instead of MB
I wish screan readers didn't expand abbreviations and roman numerals.