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Poll: Do you use voice recognition software for your translation work?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:13
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Nov 20, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you use voice recognition software for your translation work?".

This poll was originally submitted by Patrick John Burhorn. View the poll results »



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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes, for 14 years Nov 20, 2013

I understand why many people are reluctant to try it, but you get used to it in days and it is a huge time saver and good for RSI-type problems

As it is essentially a form of simultaneous interpreting, it also results in a more natural translation IMO

I would be very interested in hearing if there is anyone out there who has ever switched back from dictating to typing


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Nov 20, 2013

Installed Dragon NS a few years ago and it certainly relives at least some wear and tear on my neck, shoulders and wrists. It does have the occasional blip - which can be amusing - and may find some regional accents difficult to handle, but in general I'm happy with it. I now use a mix of typing, dictating and cut-and-paste.

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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:13
Member
German to English
+ ...
No Nov 20, 2013

The idea doesn't appeal to me at all. I'd feel like a wally talking away to myself and there are too many background noises and interruptions (dogs, telephones, children, husbands, etc.) around for it to produce smooth results.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:13
Member (2006)
German to English
No Nov 20, 2013

but I am considering looking into it. I am not sure how it works, but this question (or similar) has been polled so frequently that it does sound interesting.
Would be interested in as to how it works in Trados / Across?


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 11:13
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Nov 20, 2013

No change since the last poll on this subject: http://www.proz.com/forum/poll_discussion/200098-poll:_do_you_use_voice_recognition_software_for_your_projects.html

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Karen Stokes  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:13
Member (2003)
French to English
MemoQ Nov 20, 2013

Michael Harris wrote:

but I am considering looking into it. I am not sure how it works, but this question (or similar) has been polled so frequently that it does sound interesting.
Would be interested in as to how it works in Trados / Across?


Like Michael, I'm seriously thinking about it - does anyone have any experience of using it with MemoQ?


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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
Naturally speaking Nov 20, 2013

I used Dragon for a while quite a few years ago now. I think that it has big drawbacks.

Firstly you have to dictate to it in sentences or at least decent chunks of sentences. My translations are usually hard and sentences require a lot of reworking so I would only be able to dictate a first draft of a sentence, which isn't very useful. Importantly, this would affect my time management.

Secondly, if you dictate slowly it either doesn't respond or introduces loads of mistakes, which I then have to clear up. It can handle the exact same words if said more quickly.

Third, the Internet only works at a snail's pace. I use the Internet constantly to craft my sentences.

Fourth, I get tired of hearing my own voice and typing comes as second nature now.

The only time I used to use it in the past was when I had simple contracts. I used it in conjunction with Trados and I could fly through them. But now that I work with higher rates, I only receive harder translations, so those days are long gone.

To me, dictation programs are just a gimmick. And if I did have medical issues that prevented me from typing I would probably have to knock translating on the head.


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Dictating and CAT Nov 20, 2013

Just to address a few points above:

You can dictate into any window so I can't see a problem using Dragon with any CAT package. The two could work together a lot better though. While in theory you can use Dragon to issue commands to your computer, I haven't been able to get it to control Trados or Wordfast. This means that you have to be at the computer while dictating to move from segment to segment. So CAT will keep you off the beach!

Of course, if you're using CAT then you will probably be getting fuzzy matches, so much of the work is a matter of editing rather than translating, and you will need to be at the keyboard for that anyway. While it is possible to edit texts using Dragon, it is awkward and tedious and I don't bother. I dictate only the first draft of a text; the rest I do on the keyboard. For some reason I also always type emails and forum posts.

Dragon is undoubtedly best suited to long flowing texts dictated outside CAT, but I use Wordfast Classic for everything these days (I prefer the Word interface) and I always dictate, so obviously I see advantages. Dragon is less good at translating short phrases and odd words in tables than full sentences, and the more technical the translation, with numbers and formulae, the more you will want to just edit the foreign text on the keyboard. But in these situations you just combine the two.

Training takes minutes, sore throats and accents aren't a problem. Man-mumbling is, though; it helps to enunciate clearly!

And you can't share an office.

As for sounding like a wally, I actually think most people will think you're pretty cool. People are invariably interested and impressed by it. Background noise doesn't affect dictation, and kids and dogs are going to disturb you just as much when you're typing. I know from experience that Dragon doesn't recognise swearwords anyway


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:13
English to Polish
No, and I don't plan to Nov 20, 2013

Interesting that so far everyone who uses it translates to English.

Curious, I went to explore Dragon and it's available in merely a handful of languages. The poll will be distorted by the limited availability of such software for different languages.


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Carmen Grabs
Germany
Local time: 12:13
Member (2012)
English to German
+ ...
Just phoned Dragon NS Nov 20, 2013

to ask about compatibility with CAT tools. They don't seem to have a clue. First the lady wouldn't even know what a CAT tool was (had to spell it), and then I was told they hadn't checked the compatibility with CAT tools yet

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Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 13:13
Member (2007)
German to Turkish
+ ...
No. Nov 20, 2013

Its not ergonomic enough yet.

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Carmen Grabs
Germany
Local time: 12:13
Member (2012)
English to German
+ ...
How do you do that? Nov 20, 2013

Chris S wrote:

I understand why many people are reluctant to try it, but you get used to it in days and it is a huge time saver and good for RSI-type problems

As it is essentially a form of simultaneous interpreting, it also results in a more natural translation IMO

I would be very interested in hearing if there is anyone out there who has ever switched back from dictating to typing



Chris, do you use Dragon NS with Trados then? The company selling this tool told me the only way to use it with Trados is to copy/paste each and every sentence. That can't be timesaving, can it?


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Alan Corbo, CT  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 07:13
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
MemoQ Nov 20, 2013

I use it daily with MemoQ, and so far I'm really happy with the results. I used it with Trados for some time, and at times there's this client that sends work to do with XTM, but MemoQ is the only CAT tool in which you don't need to say "Initial caps" every time you start a new sentence, which can be very annoying. Plus, MemoQ being fairly light on system resources, DNS works very well.

A couple of things I've learnt through experience:

1) DNS is mainly useful if you work with editable, Word-like documents. Not PDFs and things like that. When I do get those, I convert them back into Word (that's quite time consuming, I know) and then use MemoQ + DNS to go through them.

2) The interaction between MS Word and DNS can be glitchy at times. I try not to use them together.

3) To make the most of it, you should use a powerful computer. I personally use a Core I5 Intel processor, Windows 7 64 bit with 8 gigabytes RAM, running on an SDD (solid state) disk and a very decent mother board. It really flies with that, plus recognition accuracy improves exponentially.

Nowadays, I think I couldn't conceive working without speech recognition. And I DO know touch type too (quite fast at that), but anyway.

Alan


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
@Carmen Nov 20, 2013

Carmen Grabs wrote:

Chris, do you use Dragon NS with Trados then? The company selling this tool told me the only way to use it with Trados is to copy/paste each and every sentence. That can't be timesaving, can it?


I avoid Trados like the plague, to be honest, but on the rare occasions I use it I have no problems. You just speak instead of typing. Wherever you can type, you can dictate. It's just a slightly different way of telling the computer which letters to put in the text. You don't need to cut and paste.

But it's not going to be ideal if you're dealing with loads of tags in each segment. Tags drive me mental even when typing. Dictation is best suited to times when you can get a bit of flow going.


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