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Poll: Do you use speech recognition software while translating?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
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Jun 28, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you use speech recognition software while translating?".

This poll was originally submitted by Philip Rodriguez. View the poll results »



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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:46
Spanish to English
+ ...
Frequently Jun 28, 2013

Yes. Dragon, been using it for a couple of years now. It takes an enormous amount of strain off my carpals and upper back/neck, which were starting to play up.

It can come up with amusing mistakes, so I need to read over the finished texts more carefully than is usual for me (I type very accurately, but not terribly quickly), but perhaps that's not such a bad thing. I tend to be very set in my ways (not broke-don't fix) so embracing a new tool and way of working was a positive experience. I can also go much faster with certain types of text (e.g. verbatim interview transcripts). All in all, I'd say it's worth the small investment.

Funnily enough, I'd gone this far before I realised that I was typing my reply rather than dictating it. These last two sentences were dictated using Dragon.

PS: I also installed a Spanish version on one of my laptops - and strange as it may seem, it recognises my Spanish more quickly and accurately than the English version does my Glaswegian twang! Go figure...

[Edited at 2013-06-28 08:30 GMT]


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Graeme Waller  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 10:46
Finnish to English
+ ...
No 'thinking about it' option Jun 28, 2013

neilmac wrote:

Yes. Dragon, been using it for a couple of years now. It takes an enormous amount of strain off my carpals and upper back/neck, which were starting to play up.

It can come up with amusing mistakes, so I need to read over the finished texts more carefully than is usual for me (I type very accurately, but not terribly quickly), but perhaps that's not such a bad thing. I tend to be very set in my ways (not broke-don't fix) so embracing a new tool and way of working was a positive experience. I can also go much faster with certain types of text (e.g. verbatim interview transcripts). All in all, I'd say it's worth the small investment.

Funnily enough, I'd gone this far before I realised that I was typing my reply rather than dictating it. These last two sentences were dictated using Dragon.

PS: I also installed a Spanish version on one of my laptops - and strange as it may seem, it recognises my Spanish more quickly and accurately than the English version does my Glaswegian twang! Go figure...

[Edited at 2013-06-28 08:30 GMT]



I am open to using speech recognition when the day comes that Microsoft comes up with good system as standard in Windows. One that can deal with my Ayrshire (West Scotland) accent. I tried the one that came with Vista a few years ago. It was a painful experience. I read that the Windows 8 version was no better; so I decided to save myself the frustration.

I am interested in Dragon, but last time I looked they did not offer a trial, which IMO is useless.


[Edited at 2013-06-28 08:53 GMT]


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Francesca Battaglia
Italy
Local time: 09:46
Member (2007)
English to Italian
+ ...
I'd love to Jun 28, 2013

I've been considering Dragon for years but there were always other buys that were more impelling. This year, I really wanted to go for it then most of my clients started assigning me jobs on "private servers" or special online tools they shared with us translators and it's very frustrating because in such environments I doubt you can use Dragon. Unless someone tells me they do work there as well, that would be fantastic.

In my opinion voice recognition is a great time saver. Yes, you need to go through the text very carefully but in the end we all need to double read a file before sending it so it's not an issue. There can be very tedious texts with lots of similar words yet not repetitions that can be extremely painful to type, I imagine that with Dragon it's a whole different story.
For example, I am currently translating an online gaming site with girly games of princesses. You'd imagine the word princess is not tedious but after you've written it for 50 times in a row and paired it with pink, glitter and beautiful in all its possible variants and combination.. believe me, you can be barely able to type it with two fingers.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:46
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No - but Dragon interests me Jun 28, 2013

I would like to try it. I think it might be more efficient in my case than CAT tools because I mainly do long, complex documents for international organizations in which repetition is relatively rare. When I translate I look away from the screen and process the sentence in my head. I find this is much faster, and the result is a more natural and colloquial translation. When I'm looking at the screen and overtyping phrase by phrase, I don't go deep into my brain and come up with creative solutions. So yes, I think it would be worth a try.

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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 08:46
German to English
+ ...
Very keen on Dragon Jun 28, 2013

I am very keen to purchase Dragon for Pt-En translations (but not for Fr-En, De-En initially) because, for some reason, I normally see the translation immediately (even for complex sentences) and find it very tedious to type it.

DNS is definitely on the list!


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Gudrun Maydorn  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:46
Member (2008)
English to German
+ ...
Dragon Jun 28, 2013

I have used Dragon Naturally Speaking for the past 4 or 5 years and wouldn't want to be without it. I must say, however, that training it did and still does take quite some time. But it's worth it, taking the strain off my hands and wrists.

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Always Jun 28, 2013

Have used ViaVoice and then Dragon for more than a decade. Recognition can be poor so careful editing is required, but it still saves a lot of time.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:46
Spanish to English
+ ...
Please repeat... Jun 28, 2013

Graeme Waller wrote:

... One that can deal with my Ayrshire (West Scotland) accent. I tried the one that came with Vista a few years ago. It was a painful experience. I read that the Windows 8 version was no better; so I decided to save myself the frustration.

I am interested in Dragon, but last time I looked they did not offer a trial, which IMO is useless.


[Edited at 2013-06-28 08:53 GMT]


I know it's been posted before, but I think this sketch is particularly apt today...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAz_UvnUeuU

I used to have to modify my accent when teaching English to foreigners, and I believe the experience helped me to handle the "training" part of the Dragon program. The main thing is to try to enunciate as clearly as possible and watch out for those schwas and glottal stops!

[Edited at 2013-06-28 10:57 GMT]


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paulonet2  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:46
Member (2013)
German to Italian
+ ...
yes Dragon with many languages Jun 28, 2013

I have been using Dragon for 8 months and I am happy with it.

Freeing my mind from typing (even if I love typing) makes the traslation process for me easier and a little bit faster. You need to train the program in order to avoid mistakes.

One good thing with Dragon (Premium or Professional) is that, even if not officially supported, you can install multiple languages. I chose e.g. the Dutch version which already includes EN-FR-DE-NL and the IT upgrade (same version). Dictating in foreign languages save me a lot of time in correcting accents and typing "strange" characters, in particular, in French and German.

If you use it with TRADOS you have to keep a recognition Window open and then dictate in the segment, otherwise you have to transfer each time the recognized text to the segment you're translating.

[Edited at 2013-06-28 10:55 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-06-28 10:56 GMT]


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:46
English to Spanish
+ ...
Say, why is it called Dragon? Jun 28, 2013

Here in America we are bombarded with morning telly adverts about Dragon NaturallySpeaking. First, it was a pudgy guy in a green t-shirt talking like software developers talk during one of their scrums. I hate that guy!

Apparently I wasn't alone because they replaced the pudgy guy with a skinny, hazel-haired girl...in a green tee. She's more personable, but not because she's a woman. She is more articulate.

I've been using the Spanish (Premium edition) version of the program for more than 12 months now, specifically for medical transcriptions in Spanish that I then translate into American English. It is a timesaver, I agree with you, guys. But, like Neilmac says, the recognition can be a bit off. Even though I set it to Latin American Spanish, it still needs retraining on some words because of the Castillian pronunciation.

It's 90-95% accurate and, like many of you have said, I need to eagle-eye what it wrote to catch the silly mistakes.

I also work in a VPN for our team of translators for one particular client, and I wouldn't use Dragon in it. Here's why:

a) The client, a software company, has a specific intranet, a document container. Their technical writers upload documents and this container formats them. It's almost like a CMS.
b) This company uses a translation plug-in from LingoTek that operates in that document container. So there is some lag time between segments when you translate.
c) The assets (translation memories, glossaries, etc.) reside in LingoTek's servers, not on the client's. That's by design.

Hence, using Dragon in such an environment is not advisable because of the lag time.

Now, why did Nuance call this program Dragon is beyond me. But I don't like their commercials.


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Marta Cervera Areny
Spain
Local time: 09:46
Catalan to Spanish
+ ...
I'd love to! Jun 28, 2013

I've tried working with Dragon, but it's a pain in the neck when I use it with SDL Trados 2011. Maybe I'm doing something wrong... Is anyone working with this combination?

Plus, there's no voice recognition software for Catalan, so even if it worked smoothly I could only use it with my translations into Spanish.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 08:46
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Jun 28, 2013

When I worked in-house all the translators were invited to try for one or two weeks an experimental version of some speech recognition software (can't remember which) and I hated it!

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Don't call me surely Jun 28, 2013

I'm having an Airplane moment in reverse today - Dragon keeps typing "surely" when I say "Shirley"

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:46
English to Spanish
+ ...
I'm sure. And stop calling me Shirley! Jun 28, 2013

Chris S wrote:

I'm having an Airplane moment in reverse today - Dragon keeps typing "surely" when I say "Shirley"



Hahahaha, thanks for the memories, Chris.


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