|Phonetic transcription of a name into the International Phonetic Alphabet|
|Used on these elements|
|Status: in use|
|Tools for this tag|
This tag contains a phonetic guide to pronouncing the name contained in name=*. The name is transcribed into the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), either using a broad transcription or a narrow transcription.
This tag can be useful for clarifying an idiosyncratic pronunciation. For example:
- Most places named Reading are pronounced like "redding" in English, not like "reeding". This pronunciation extends beyond places to the roads and points of interest named after them.
- Houston Street in New York City is pronounced very differently than the city of Houston, Texas, or the Scottish village of Houston, Renfrewshire.
- The Vietnamese given names Dũng and Loan have very different pronunciations than the English words "dung" and "loan" but often appear in English-language street and POI names in some parts of the United States.
- Some business names contain unit symbols that look similar to words. (In general, name=* expands abbreviations, but nevertheless abbreviations in business names and other trademarks are commonly left alone.)
End users may benefit from seeing a pronunciation hint below a place’s label on a map, or from hearing the place name correctly read aloud while navigating with a routing application. Blind users also rely on software to read map features aloud. A renderer or geocoder can use an unambiguous phonetic transcription to automatically transliterate from an irregular orthography like English to another orthography. A geocoder can also use the phonetic transcription to generate "did you mean" results according to a phonetic algorithm.
This tag was first used in 2008 on various English place POIs.
As with name=*, an ISO 639 language code can be included in the key to specify the pronunciation in a particular language. For example, if a feature is tagged with name:en=* and name:fr=*, name:en:pronunciation=* and name:fr:pronunciation=* can indicate the pronunciation in English and French, respectively. The :pronunciation suffix is also used on a several other name-related keys, such as official_name:pronunciation=* and destination:pronunciation=*.
As an alternative to tagging a feature with a name:pronunciation=* tag, the wikidata=* tag allows you to associate a feature with the Wikidata item describing the same feature. That item can be tagged with an IPA transcription statement. However, note that Wikidata items are subject to different inclusion criteria than OpenStreetMap features.
OSRM v5.2 and above includes the value of this tag in the
RouteStep object. Valhalla exposes the pronunciation in a similar manner.  Mapbox Directions for Swift exposes this value as
RouteStep.phoneticNames when connecting to an OSRM-powered server.
Clients of these libraries can pass the transcription into any text-to-speech engine that supports IPA, which is the default phonetic alphabet of the Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML).  A number of text-to-speech engines support IPA transcriptions, including:
- Amazon Polly (supported IPA characters, contains some typos)
- AVFoundation (IPA support built into iOS 10 and above)
- IBM Text to Speech
- Nuance SpeechKit
The Mapbox Navigation SDK for Android and iOS applies IPA transcriptions from name:pronunciation=* when announcing turn instructions using Amazon Polly. The iOS version also applies IPA transcriptions when falling back to AVFoundation when Polly is unavailable. 
As recorded in the IANA Language Subtag Registry, IETF BCP 47 encodes IPA pronunciations as
<language>-fonipa, which would imply subkeys such as name:en-fonipa=*. As of March 2021, such subkeys have never been used and are unsupported in software. BCP 47 requires an explicit language code (primary language subtag), whereas name=* does not explicitly indicate a language. If multiple *:*-fonipa=* tags are specified, data consumers would find it more difficult to associate one of them with name=* unless *:und-fonipa=* is also specified.
- Proposed features/Phonetics
- OSM for the blind
- Relevant Sophox queries: