Welcome to the NEW Speech Recognition (SR) Forum!
Thread poster: Mats Wiman

Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 08:52
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Mar 2, 2007

For many, SR is abracadabra or an unknown phenomenon, but for a number of us it is the future when it comes to translating.
In short it is software which converts the spoken word into text.
You may have heard of ViaVoice from IBM, Dragon Naturally Speaking from Nuance or other similar software.

One great advantage with this technology is that if you – like me – are slow with the keyboard, you can significantly improve your writing capacity – provided the program works OK, which is not always the case.

Some years ago, Philips launched a multilingual SR CD with the name FREE SPEECH, at a fabulous price (≈EUR 110) but it very soon turned into a market fiasco and the project was discontinued. Philips has continued to develop an improved technology, which is now marketed under the trade name SPEECH MAGIC, primarily for doctors and lawyers but possible to develop into the translation area. See http://www.speechrecognition.philips.com
I will know more at the end of this week and I will report back.

We hope with this forum that members and users will report back on their experience in this area.

I suggest you write in the subject line your own experience with this technology, always saying which program and which language.
Examples:
”Dragon Naturally speaking, my experience (Dutch).”
”IBM ViaVoice: I use it continuously (English)”
”Philips Speech Magic: Super for my medical journals (Swedish)”
”Program XXXX: How I learnt to use it ”
etc (see my PS below)

I am not at all an expert but my interest in this is strong, so I have taken on the task to mederate this forum.

Best regards

Mats Wiman
SR-forum Moderator

PS Gianfranco has been kind enough to move 19 threads pertinent to the subject from their formerly 'dispersed' places and the can now be seen at http://www.proz.com/forum/238



[Edited at 2007-03-02 17:55]


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Berni Armstrong  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:52
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English
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Congratulations on your new baby Mar 2, 2007

I hope it grows healthy and strong.

I guess it will as more people realise that the newer versions of these programmes are a lot better than the earlier versions they may have tried. My output is up 30-40% thanks to Dragon and it is goodbye to sore shoulders from tension caused by long hours hunched over the keyboard.

[Edited at 2007-03-02 18:19]


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 08:52
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Berni, Mar 2, 2007

It is good to hear from someone who r e a l l y has some experience of this technology.

Couldn't you please tell us:

1. Was it difficult to get started?
2. Did it take long for you to start feeling you could use it?
3. After how long did you reach the productivity inrease you
mention?

Could you tell us with what languages one could use it?

Best

Mats


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 01:52
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
DNS, the best feature for me Mar 2, 2007

Best of luck, Mats. This is a great idea for a new forum.

Of course, my productivity has increased since I started using Dragon. But my favorite thing about Speech Recognition is that it delivered me from the evils of a constant pain in my arms, wrists and shoulders, and that alone is worth using it.


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 08:52
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
TOPIC STARTER
A few links for newbies and others Mar 2, 2007

Use my first pick:

Wikipedia's article on 'Speech recognition':
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speech_recognition

IBM Via Voice: http://www-306.ibm.com/software/voice/viavoice/

To familiarise yourself with Dragon Naurally Speaking (DNS), go to their home page: http://www.digitalriver.com/v2.0-img/operations/scansouk/site/html/dragon/Preferred_9.htm

Also read the Wikipedia article on 'NaturallySpeaking'
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_NaturallySpeaking

Read the Financial Times article on SR:
ftp://ftp.scansoft.com/nuance/dns9/06142006_ft.pdf

Another facet of turning speech into text and then into speech:
http://domino.watson.ibm.com/comm/research.nsf/pages/r.uit.innovation.html

And again the ProZ.com thread collection:
http://www.proz.com/forum/238

That's all for now

Mats

[Edited at 2007-03-02 20:56]


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Hester Eymers  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:52
Member (2005)
English to Dutch
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DNS: been using it a few weeks (Dutch) Mar 3, 2007

Hi Mats,

Thanks for starting this forum, I think it can be of great help to everyone.

I bought DNS a few weeks ago, as I started to have pains in hands, arms and shoulders. I don't type very fast, and almost from the start Dragon has been about as fast as my typing speed. You need some patience to train the program, but all in all it learns quite quickly from its mistakes.

Kind regards,
Hester


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 08:52
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
TOPIC STARTER
DNS for Swedish speakers Mar 3, 2007

Hi again,

I have heard about this program, which is based on DNS.

Its name is Voice Express. See http://www.voxit.se/ They also have an English website: http://www.voxit.se/en/

That's about all I know now, but I'll tell you more later.

I also posted this on the Swedish Forum: http://www.proz.com/forum/43

MW

[Edited at 2007-05-04 16:48]


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Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:52
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Great idea Mar 3, 2007

It is certainly a great idea, and I will follow closely this forum. Especially that I strongly believe that in the future we'll use keyboards less and less often. Unfortunately for the time being I haven't heard about any efficient software for Polish, I will be grateful for information if anyone of you knows a reliable software compatible with Polish.
Cheers
Stanislaw


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Reino Havbrandt
Sweden
Local time: 08:52
Finnish to Swedish
+ ...
Sorry I wrote this shit Mar 3, 2007

A moderator told me I am breaking the rules.
I hereby promise not to comment anything on ProZ forums.

[Edited at 2007-03-04 12:47]


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Janis Abens  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 09:52
Swedish to English
+ ...
Synchronicity Mar 4, 2007

Congratulations on the excellent effort! By pure coincididence I posted this article last Wednesday!

I have no affiliation with Nuance, just a big fan of DNS.

"Speech recognition has been around for some time now, yet relatively few "normal" computer users have adopted this technology. Perhaps they tried it out in the early years, and were dissatisfied with the speed and/or accuracy Maybe the need to train the program and enunciate words clearly was a barrier. Often, people who type quickly and accurately think that the increase in speed is either nonexistent or not worth the effort. Many users are only vaguely aware that the technology exists or think it is only for the handicapped.

My experience has been purely positive. After developing pains and aches slaving over a huge job, I discovered DNS way back in v.5. The program took abot 20 minutes to get going, and I was immediately amazed to see I could speak in a normal tone and at normal speed with very few errors, just watching the text appear on the screen in front of me as I spoke. I was even more amazed at the huge vocabulary, including all kinds of scientific, medical and technical terminology.

Obviously, not all types of texts are suitable for dictation, Also, the entire point of CAT is to not have to create every word anew, whether typing or talking. So, in reality, the way I use DNS/DVX varies between different jobs.

Speech recognition, however, is not solely for dictation. Specific voice commands can be assigned to keystrokes, combinations and even complex macros. Thusly, I assigned personalized commands to all the functions I use in my CAT tool, such as creating a new project, changing options like fuzzy match settings, navigating within and between segments, joining and splitting segments, saving segments to desired databases and so on.

So, even though I still type alot, whenever I plan on working for extended periods, I always use DNS. Even though it is still faster to press CTRL-A than to say "assemble", ther comes a time after X hours of drudgery when I can lean back in my chair or stand up and stretch, and continue working more or less unabated. This certainly comes in handy when the shoulders and wrists start to tell you its time for a break, but the deadline is still looming.

So for texts with tables, lists, etc. and many repetitions there is no need to abandon the CAT functions, and I use DNS mainly to control the computer, sporadically saying a sentence or two. Especially with long and convoluted sentences, the CAT result is often essentially correct but the sentence clauses are mixed up and need rearrqanging. Instead of click/drag (awful) or CTRL-arrow selection, shifting around etc. it can be much faster to just say the correct sentence.

OTOH, I often get a text in paper or image format. Sometimes it is worth the effort to scan, OCR, correct and proceed with the digital file. Often, however, it is much faster to simply translate on-the-fly, with my complete focus on the paper, not even looking at the computer. I say without exaggeration that I cannot speak fast enough to confuse or overload DNS. After learning not to slur and stutter, the program makes virtually no mistakes. Even homonyms are correctly recognized by the context if the proper training is done. (Letting DNS check your docs for samples of the context, or teaching it as you go.)

Is there a downside? Well, since DNS does not make spelling errors, a spell check will not reveal mistakes, and one will run into like-sounding alternatives to what you actually meant now and then. So proofreading is still of the essence.

In summary, there is no right and wrong way to incorporate speech recognition into a translation workflow. Just as people combine mouse operations and keyboard shortcuts in various fashions, the spoken word not only adds a third dimension to controlling the machine but can also be correctly reproduced as text on the screen


Leveraging the power of voice recognition and computer - assisted translation ... has given me an enormous boost in productivity. The learning curve is minimal and the improvement in the quality of life is surprisingly great! There is certainly no going back...

http://www.abens.org


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