Poll: Do you find text reading software useful for your work in any way?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:18
SITE STAFF
Jun 5, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you find text reading software useful for your work in any way?".

This poll was originally submitted by Andrzej Niewiarowski. View the poll results »



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Catherine GUILLIAUMET  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:18
English to French
+ ...
What is it ? Jun 5, 2010

Sorry, I don't understand what you are referring to
Enjoy your weekend
Catherine


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:18
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
I'd never heard of it either, but... Jun 5, 2010

I Googled it and discovered that it somehow converts text to spoken text, so that you can listen to documents. This is one example of such software:
http://www.nch.com.au/verbose/index.html?gclid=CLi45KLmiKICFReZ2AodZ2fEVQ


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Valeria Ines Lagos Terrizzano
Spain
Local time: 06:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
I see I'm not alone here Jun 5, 2010

I thought I was lagging behind, but I can see I am with 75% of voters who either do not use this software or had never heard of it before. I am probably lagging behind in technology matters, but I don't really care that much... I have what I need.

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Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:18
Member (2009)
French to English
I could see a theoretical benefit Jun 5, 2010

I found this feature buried in Word 2007 and tried it out on a lark. It *should* be a good way to proofread a text. Reading aloud is recommended because it forces you to look at each word and your brain treats reading, speaking, and listening slightly differently. By having someone, or something else read the text, you get even more separation from the original and are able to hear it anew.

In reality, I turned off robo-voice about 3 sentences in. It may still be a good technique to give an extra layer of polish to an important text. I know that there is no way I'm going to get my husband to read 30+ pages of banking regulations to me.


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dragon Naturally Speaking, but ... Jun 5, 2010

I used to use Cepstral voices (which are wonderful!) and a tool to "read aloud" in XP (don't recall now what it was exactly), but Microsoft removed it in Word 2007. I have a VB macro that is supposed to enable the reading of the text, but it doesn't work.

So, I'm using Dragon, but every now and again, it crashes, which is annoying. It also only reads in English and in a tinny sounding voice. When I had XP I could have the source text read aloud in very clear Spanish. I tried to use the built-in reading feature in Windows 7, but again -- problems! When I give the command to read a paragraph, it says aloud "paragraph blank" (or empty or something like that).

I see that there are other programs available (not entirely clear to me if they are free or not). I would really appreciate hearing from others about options. I find it indispensable to have the text read aloud because I catch tiny typos and sometimes also realize that a phrase that I thought was workable isn't.

Thanks,
Patricia


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Erik Matson  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 06:18
English to Norwegian
+ ...
NO Jun 5, 2010

Patricia Rosas wrote:

I used to use Cepstral voices (which are wonderful!) and a tool to "read aloud" in XP (don't recall now what it was exactly), but Microsoft removed it in Word 2007. I have a VB macro that is supposed to enable the reading of the text, but it doesn't work.

So, I'm using Dragon, but every now and again, it crashes, which is annoying. It also only reads in English and in a tinny sounding voice. When I had XP I could have the source text read aloud in very clear Spanish. I tried to use the built-in reading feature in Windows 7, but again -- problems! When I give the command to read a paragraph, it says aloud "paragraph blank" (or empty or something like that).

I see that there are other programs available (not entirely clear to me if they are free or not). I would really appreciate hearing from others about options. I find it indispensable to have the text read aloud because I catch tiny typos and sometimes also realize that a phrase that I thought was workable isn't.

Thanks,
Patricia


I answered no, because I don't find it to be efficient for my potential uses. I am surprised to hear how many people don't know what it is. But, my suggestion to anybody who finds it "indispensable" in their work is to buy I licensed copy of such a program. Even the best are not very expensive, at least not compared to a CAT software package. An investment in a license for any such software which is indispensable will surely pay for itself quickly. It also helps to prevent software which crashes because it is a pirated version and you dont have support privileges. Dragon, as most software, is not free (although widely shared in filesharing communities), and will perhaps stop crashing if you buy a licensed copy. Forget about the free or "free" software.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:18
Member (2006)
German to English
here too Jun 5, 2010

Valeria Lagos - Gordon Downie wrote:

I thought I was lagging behind, but I can see I am with 75% of voters who either do not use this software or had never heard of it before. I am probably lagging behind in technology matters, but I don't really care that much... I have what I need.


And it is probably not very useful as I almost always work in TagEditor or Across.


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
testing TextAloud Jun 5, 2010

I've gotten a trial version of this $29.95 software package. Unfortunately, it seems to freeze up frequently, but it doesn't freeze Word. I also bought "David," one of the Cepstral voices, and have been using it to proof an article this morning.

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lillkakan
Local time: 06:18
English to Swedish
I've never tried Jun 5, 2010

...because I haven't found any that handles Swedish satisfactorily. And without going too much off topic I just have to respond to Erik:

An investment in a license for any such software which is indispensable will surely pay for itself quickly. It also helps to prevent software which crashes because it is a pirated version and you dont have support privileges. Dragon, as most software, is not free (although widely shared in filesharing communities), and will perhaps stop crashing if you buy a licensed copy. Forget about the free or "free" software.


I think most professionals do buy their software and licenses, since the cost is deductible as business expense anyway. But even so, it's quite an overstatement to assume all free software is cracked and illegal. There is plenty of software that is either completely free or free under specific licenses, paid for on a donation basis with low minimum amounts or, as in the case of translation memory software such as Across and Catalyst, comes with "light" versions with limited functionality that are free for freelancers.

So, please don't assume that "free software" is always the same as pirate copies, or that someone wishing to use free software is implying that they are software pirates. It is quite insulting, if you think about it. Besides, I have had plenty of problems with my licensed copy of Trados 2007 that my paid Trados support could not help me with. Just saying.


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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 01:18
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Where in Word 2007? Jun 5, 2010

Jenn Mercer wrote:

I found this feature buried in Word 2007 and tried it out on a lark....

In reality, I turned off robo-voice about 3 sentences in.


Jenn, where do you find this in Word? I'm curious and would like to try it out.

Jane


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Ricardo Horta  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:18
English to Portuguese
+ ...
What about the opposite? Jun 6, 2010

This sounds a bit like turning gasoline into water.

I'm sure it can be useful in certain situations, but a software that could **accurately** convert spoken text to written text, now that would be great.

Sometimes I wish I could just speak into a microphone instead of having to type. Is there such software already?

-- EDIT --

Well, I just found there is. I didn't know about software such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking and others. Cool!

[Edited at 2010-06-06 01:50 GMT]


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Erik Matson  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 06:18
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Good news is that such software has become QUITE good Jun 6, 2010

ricardonhorta wrote:

This sounds a bit like turning gasoline into water.

I'm sure it can be useful in certain situations, but a software that could **accurately** convert spoken text to written text, now that would be great.

Sometimes I wish I could just speak into a microphone instead of having to type. Is there such software already?

-- EDIT --

Well, I just found there is. I didn't know about software such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking and others. Cool!

[Edited at 2010-06-06 01:50 GMT]


Indeed, Dragon Naturally Speaking, as well as others, while they offer the feautre to "speak", are much more useful to translation applications for the the opposite of "reading text", that is "writing from speech", or voice recognition. I think this would have been a more interesting poll, and perhaps what the poll creator had intended. Again, while I don't have a need for such software because I type very fast, the software has made impressive improvements in recent years. Programs like Dragon Naturally Speaking are quite good at understanding clear speech.


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Ricardo Horta  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:18
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I also type fast... Jun 7, 2010

...but I talk even faster, eheh.

I'll have to find out if there's a Portuguese version


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