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Dear DNS users. Please share your experience with us all!
Thread poster: Mats Wiman

Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 09:16
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Mar 5, 2007

For us who are newbies or haven't yet bought Dragon Naturally Speaking it would be very interesting for us all to get to know a number of things (see below).

I browsed the the pre-SR-forum postings and found the following users/experts on various versions.

Alison Riddell-Kachur
Amy Williams
Astrid Elke Johnson
BLANGSTED
bohy
Bruce Popp
Charlie Bavington
Claudia Alvis
Claudia Iglesias
Giulia TAPPI
Heike Behl, Ph.D.
Heike Steffens
Hester Eymers
Jack Doughty
Jackie Bowman
Jalapeno
Jeff Allen
Joeri Van Liefferinge
Kevin Fulton
Lia Fail
Lucinda
M Moine
maryrose
Maurizio Valente
Nora Diaz
Pablo Roufogalis
Patricia Rosas
Peter Linton
Philippe Etienne
Richard Walker
Roberta Anderson
Robin Salmon
Ronnie Halpern
Sonja Tomaskovic
Tadej Kokalj
Timothy Barton
Timothy Stroud
Uldis Liepkalns
Ulrike Lieder
Viktoria Gimbe
Williamson
writeaway
xxxIanW
xxxunecho

It would be very helpful if you could tell us all:

1. Which version do you use?
2. Languages included?
3. Which language(s) do you use?
4. How long did it take to be in operation?
5. Where did you buy and at what price?

Appreciated is of course all info you'd like to share with us.

Thanks in advance!

Your humble moderator


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Giulia TAPPI  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:16
French to Italian
+ ...
DNS italian and french Mar 5, 2007

As I work in both languages, I was obliged to buy 2 different versions (9 Preferred) of this software. I do regret that they do not offer a multilingual one, with, for instance, french, italian and spanish.
I bought each version at the price of 199 euros.
I am really pleased with DNS, it just takes one hour or so to begin to use it, and it makes my work really faster and more relaxing.
I hope I answered your questions.
Best regards,
Giulia


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 09:16
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Giulia for clear answers! I take the liberty to publish your eMail answes here. Mar 5, 2007

1. Which version do you use?
1 I use version(s) 9 Preferred. It is compulsory if you want to have more than 1 language.

2. Languages included?
2. French comes with English, the same for Italian

3. Which language(s) do you use?
3. I use French and Italian (2 different softwares)

4. How long did it take to be in operation?
4 It takes less than 1 hour to be able to use it

5. Where did you buy and at what price?
5 I bought DNS at FNAC; each software costs 199 €.


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Heike Steffens  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:16
Italian to German
+ ...
DNS German and Italian Mar 5, 2007

The same for me as for Giulia - I work with two languages that are not included in one single package of DNS, so I had to buy two of them:

1. Which version do you use?
1. I use 2 versions 9 Preferred

2. Languages included?
2. German/English + Italian/English

3. Which language(s) do you use?
3. I use German + Italian, 2 different softwares

4. How long did it take to be in operation?
4. About one hour for each language.

5. Where did you buy and at what price?
5. The first software I bought (German version) cost approx. 198,00 € (VAT incl.). The second one I bought (Italian version + Plantronics headset) cost approx. 380,00 € (VAT incl.)

I bought the 2 software packages from Linguaconsult (via internet - linguaconsult.de).

I really enjoy working with DNS, even though I have noticed, that with the new headset I probably need to "train" the German software once again, as the quality is much better than the one with the standard headset.

Best
Heike

[Modificato alle 2007-03-05 19:36]


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bohy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:16
English to French
+ ...
DNS French + English Mar 5, 2007

1. Which version do you use?
9.0 Preferred - I started with 6.0, but I upgrade as soon as a new version comes out, as it brings always a significant performance improvement.

2. Languages included?
French, English but the documentation is for the French version. I have trouble using the English version because I do not know the commands (where can I find them ?)

3. Which language(s) do you use?
Mostly French. Using English as a non-native speaker is more difficult. Now and then, I have to type.

4. How long did it take to be in operation?
With v9, no initial training. I used it right away, and it worked well !

5. Where did you buy it and at what price?
I bought the last version online, Scansoft promotional offer, €158.22 for DNS Preferred French

I would like to know what is your favorite headset? In my opinion, this is very important for good results.


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 03:16
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
DNS Spanish and English Mar 5, 2007

1. Which version do you use?
DNS version 8 preferred Spanish

2. Languages included?
English and Spanish

3. Which language(s) do you use?
English and Spanish. It's funny, even though Spanish is my native language, somehow Dragon works better when I dictate in English. It could be because of the differences between Latin America and Castilian Spanish.

4. How long did it take to be in operation?
About 10 minutes.

5. Where did you buy and at what price?
Around $150 for a used copy

[Edited at 2007-03-05 22:51]


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:16
French to English
DNS English Mar 5, 2007

1. Which version do you use?
Version 9, Standard

2. Languages included?
English

3. Which language(s) do you use?
English

4. How long did it take to be in operation?
I don't really remember, I think it took about an hour to train it.
NB: It's best if you train it under working conditions, so if you work with the radio on, say, then train it with the radio on. I first trained it in absolute silence, and when I first used it, it tried to transcribe the football commentary I was listening to

5. Where did you buy and at what price?
PC World, and it cost me eighty of our fine pounds sterling!
It comes with a headset which I found annoying to use, so I bought a cheap microphone a little later.


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:16
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Answers Mar 5, 2007

1. Which version do you use?
Dragon 9.10 SP1 Preferred.

2. Languages included?
English

3. Which language(s) do you use?
English

4. How long did it take to be in operation?
Started with Version 5. Took an hour, plus frequent correction. V.9 took no time (upgrade from V.8).

5. Where did you buy and at what price?
Online, don't recall the price. But a real bargain. Substantially increases productivity and earning power, Substantially reduces the risk of career-threatening aches and pains.


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Benno Groeneveld  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:16
English to Dutch
+ ...
I just bought DNS Mar 6, 2007

At our local CompUsa store (US, Minnesota) which was going out of business. I paid $99 for the basic version, the discount paid for the local sales tax.

Took me about half an hour to train the software with the included microphone. Works fine, types better than I do and with much less strain.

I use US English. I asked the Dutch version of the DNS site about a module in that language, but will happily pay for a second version if I have to.

Only problem: In WordFast it wants to put the text not in the boxes, but with the tine markings that separate the various parts of the text. Haven't found an answer for that yet.


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Roberta Anderson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:16
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
My experience Mar 6, 2007

Hi all
I've been using it since 2001 and here are my answers.

1. Which version do you use?
-- I started with DNS 5 Mobile, Italian - that was the version with digital voice recorder included. The idea was that for certain jobs (like newsletter translations, where TM use is limited) I would be able to dictate the translation far from my desk (in the garden, on the sofa, in bed, on the beach... ). But in the end I never used the recorder - I'm too addicted to my desk.
(I'm still using version 7.1, but will soon upgrade to 9)

2. Languages included?
-- English - Italian

3. Which language(s) do you use?
-- Italian

4. How long did it take to be in operation?
-- An hour or so, and it was fun

5. Where did you buy and at what price?
-- I bought it from the Italian distributor, Questar (can't remember the price, sorry; but I remember it paid back for itself with the first translation I used it for, in terms of productivity)

I would also add that I do not use it all the time.
Although it works well with any application including CATS, I find that I prefer to use it for those jobs which do not require use of TM and concordance searches. I use it mainly for newsletters which I translate directly in layout applications (InDesign) and which do not require interruptions for terminology searches.
But that is just personal preference and type of jobs handled.

I initially used it with the basic headset it came with, then shortly after upgrading a to v. 7 I got a digital headset (but not a very expensive one, from Plantronics) and accuracy increased considerably.
(Even with the basic headset, though, background noise - kids and TV - has never been an problem)

cheers,
Roberta


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 09:16
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
TOPIC STARTER
Great! Thanks so far! Mar 6, 2007

I am very happy that you all reported so well.
It will be a very good basis for making this forum of great use to many.
So:
Please all of you who haven't yet reported:
Please do!

Mats


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:16
Member
English to French
My turn Mar 6, 2007

1. Which version do you use?
DNS 8 Preferred since April 05. I find the upgrade price not significantly lower than the full version, so I didn't upgrade to v9.

2. Languages included?
EN, FR

3. Which language(s) do you use?
FR

4. How long did it take to be in operation?
About 30 min

5. Where did you buy and at what price?
Siener informatique (French online dealer) @149€. Very long leadtime.

6. Headset:
Plantronics .Audio 50. light, accurate and monaural. I broke the headset supplied fairly quickly.

For those who didn't notice, it doesn't "autocurl" apostrophes (Alt 0146) as by default in Word. So if like me you type and talk on a given job depending on the situation (ie DNS will or will not be efficient on a given portion), make sure that all your apostrophes are either one or the other kind (search replace). French texts usually contain many of them.


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Jackie Bowman

Local time: 04:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
My experience … Mar 6, 2007

… has been as follows.

I started using ViaVoice in the late 1990s. I persisted for a long time with ViaVoice. My experience was not good. I started with DNS about three years ago. My experience of using it for translation purposes has been poor.

I want to stress that all that follows is purely my own, subjective experience of DNS …

The software is easy to train. In fact, it’s striking how fast it learns. And it’s fun to watch it learn. I was impressed by its ability to type my spoken words when I wanted to send a brief and funny email to a friend, or when I wanted to produce a shopping list before I went to the supermarket. I trained it well and I trained it at length, and I persevered with it for an unconscionably long time.

As a tool for translation, there is no question that it significantly decreased my productivity. It led, ineluctably, to the production of translations that were clearly inferior to those I produce when I write instead of speak. So I had to spend much more time revising the translations than I did when I had written (rather than spoken) the first draft.

My own view is that DNS might help if your work consists of translating grammatically uncomplicated sentences – instruction manuals, computer games, so forth. I don’t. I translate long chunks of academic prose in the realm of international relations … Long sentences and long paragraphs, and every sentence and every paragraph is logically connected to the next.

With DNS, I would look at a sentence in the source, and I’d sit there and try to decide how to say that sentence, or even the first clause of it. And then I’d say it. And DNS would type it. Very often, DNS would type it perfectly. But I’d spent time thinking how to say that, and then I’d get to the next clause or the next sentence and I’d realize I should recast what I’d just said. So I’d tell DNS to do that. And very often, DNS would get all my instructions right. But it had taken time to tell DNS to do all those things.

And I’d finish speaking a page, and DNS would have typed the page, and I’d read it. And then I would rewrite it substantially. Not necessarily because the software got it wrong, but because what you produce when you write is different from what you produce when you speak. And if what you have to produce is a written thing, then my own experience is that you get a better thing if you write it from the outset, instead of speaking it.

Here again, I should stress that I think the thing might work if you’re translating grammatically simple stuff (and I should further stress that ‘grammatically simple stuff’ does not necessarily mean ‘terminologically simple stuff’). But for dense prose, DNS simply slowed me down. The quality of the translation certainly declined.

I think there are some people on this site who are familiar with cognitive linguistics. It would be helpful to hear from them. My own, amateurish, suspicion is that the bits of the human brain that control speech and written language are separate units.

I write this at length because the tone of this forum so far is wholly positive towards speech-recognition software. That tone alone might sway some people to buy the software. I would strongly urge caution. I don’t doubt that many people find the software helpful. But I don’t think I will be the first translator in the world to find it to be a waste of money.


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Janis Abens  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 10:16
Swedish to English
+ ...
DNS 8.0, (Eng) Voxit VoiceXpress 5.3 (Swe) Mar 7, 2007

Took about 20-30 minutes to get going in both cases. Apparently, the pre-training is eliminated in the DNS 9...

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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 09:16
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
TOPIC STARTER
Very informative, Jackie! Mar 7, 2007

Dear Jackie,

Thanks for a very informative posting. This and other fora are not and should not be Yes-jubilant clubs.

It's very good of you to share your experience although you are not using the program much - for givens reasons.

You are so right in stressing the fact that SR is not only about the program being able to interpret sounds, it's also a matter of being able to do the translation in your head before 'spitting it out'.

Maybe somebody could add knowledge to this problem.

Let's wait for more informative postings.

[Edited at 2007-03-07 14:03]


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