Speech Recognition Software
Thread poster: JST17

JST17  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:12
Member (2017)
French to English
Jan 23

I would very much like to hear of anyone's experiences in relation to using speech recognition software (the advantages/disadvantages of using speech recognition software). I am interested in using Dragon Naturally Speaking combined with SDL Trados. Any feedback would be appreciated.
JS


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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 09:12
English to Russian
+ ...
Generally positive Jan 23

Dragon is a wonderful product and it can save you a lot of time if your thinking is faster than your fingers. However, you'd better have good oral expression skills, and you need to watch out for totally silly mistakes in the resulting text (as an example, "cytology" in a medical report I was working on got inadvertently transformed into "Scientology"). Also, Trados Studio is an unsupported application, therefore Dragon won't provide the same range of editing functions as in Word and the like.

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:12
English to Spanish
+ ...
There are other forum entries Jan 23

JST17 (that's an unusual name, btw), there are many forum entries in Proz regarding speech recognition software. You could do a bit of homework and find out more details.

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JST17  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:12
Member (2017)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Speech Recognition Software Jan 23

May thanks for your comments

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:12
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Mac solution Jan 23

I haven't tried Dragon, but from whose who have, I hear it isn't as good as the speech recognition software that comes for free as part of the MacOS - which I do use, all the time.

A very good microphone is important - the best you can find.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:12
English to Spanish
+ ...
Studio-grade microphone is almost a necessity Jan 23

Tom in London wrote:

I haven't tried Dragon, but from whose who have, I hear it isn't as good as the speech recognition software that comes for free as part of the MacOS - which I do use, all the time.

A very good microphone is important - the best you can find.



I second your recommendation. The headphone and mic coming with the Dragon package is subpar, a piece of cheap plastic. Anyone needing to dictate requires one of the best microphones. I finally learned my lesson and bought an Audio Technica AT 2020 USB (it's a cardioid type). Other brands: Samson.


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Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:12
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
I disagree. Jan 23

I've tried (and extensively tested) Mac's Dictation app, and Dragon (on Windows) is much better.

Also, there is no longer any need for a super fancy mic, not since "Dragon Professional Individual 15", which introduced a completely new underlying recognition engine. I have also tested this, e.g. testing my built-in laptop mic (which works amazingly well) vs my fancy SpeechWare USB 3-in-1 TableMike … basically no difference.

Michael

I do recommend getting a powerful computer though, with tons of RAM and SSDs.

[Edited at 2018-01-24 00:44 GMT]


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:12
English to Spanish
+ ...
Quality mikes Jan 24

Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer wrote:

I've tried (and extensively tested) Mac's Dictation app, and Dragon (on Windows) is much better.

Also, there is no longer any need for a super fancy mic, not since "Dragon Professional Individual 15", which introduced a completely new underlying recognition engine. I have also tested this, e.g. testing my built-in laptop mic (which works amazingly well) vs my fancy SpeechWare USB 3-in-1 TableMike … basically no difference.

Michael

I do recommend getting a powerful computer though, with tons of RAM and SSDs.

[Edited at 2018-01-24 00:44 GMT]


In the chain of doing dictation into a computer via dictation software there are not just one but several factors that play a part in getting the best speech recognition into writing.

I find the expression “tons of RAM and SSDs” a bit unhelpful for those who may be new to setting up their computer equipment for dictation, such as the original questioner. Version 12 of Dragon NaturallySpeaking required 4 GB of RAM on average, but that's on top of what the operating system and other applications in the computer might need. In my own situation, nothing short of 6 to 8 GB of RAM on a Windows 7 system did the trick for efficient dictation.

A powerful computer might mean different things to different people, depending on where they live and what operating system they prefer to use. And we're forgetting the role a good soundcard plays in this dictation chain. I've been buying and upgrading computers long enough (since 1992) to know for a fact that even a new computer will ship with a middling soundcard, useful to listen to CDs or the occasional DVD but not very useful for memory-intensive applications such as speech recognition.

I don't see the need for an SSD hard drive in this chain, however. A good 7200-rpm internal hard drive is good enough. And I disagree with the statement about microphones. Whoever does software recognition-oriented dictation for professional use (transcriptions, translation, etc.) ought to spend good money on a studio-quality microphone. That doesn't mean one should shell out $200 or $400 on a mike, however. I bought my AT2020 for less than $50.

One more argument for the expensive mike instead of some cheap microphone or headset costing $30: real-world dictation situations rarely happen in a monastery or in a quiet-as-a-church home office. Some of us enjoy a pretty silent environment: almost no children romping about outside, or barking dogs or honking traffic out the window. That's why a mike such as a cardioid microphone or a unidirectional mike is a necessity for speech dictation applications.


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James Hodges  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 16:12
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Long-Time Dragon User - A Couple of Comments Jan 24

Dragon is a great piece of software. However, you have to use it continuously to make full use of its benefits. The more you record into your user profile, the more accustomed it will become to the quirks of your voice. The read-back function is also great when checking work. Your ears sometimes pick up errors that tired eyes overlook. If you are going to buy it, splash out on the professional version that will allow you to make backup copies of your profile files.

Finally, I don't know your circumstances, however, I've actually had better results with Dragon using a PC gaming headset. Basically speaking, the better the quality of your set-up, the more benefits you will derive from Dragon.

Regards

James


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Recep Kurt  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 10:12
Member (2011)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Speech recognition tool Jan 25

I use https://voicenotebook.com/; it is free for online use, the paid version (less than 20 bucks per year) allows for OS integration, which means it will type wherevere you put your cursor to, including CAT tools and the like. Multiple languages supported.

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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:12
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Doesn't seem that sensitive to mikes Jan 25

Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer wrote:
Also, there is no longer any need for a super fancy mic GMT]

That has been my experience as well. I have a relatively cheap Sennheiser SC-30, and also a very expensive DECT-based Sennheiser wireless headset. There seems to be no difference in dictation functionality, to be honest. Of course, the wireless one is a nicer product and more convenient, but it is also many times the price.

Regards,
Dan


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