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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: 18:22
SITE STAFF
Jan 27, 2015

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 Andrei Sidorov. View the poll results »



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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:22
Member
German to English
+ ...
No Jan 27, 2015

I don't think it would be a practical option for me. I work in what is sometimes a noisy environment, with dogs, cats and children wandering in and out. The radio is often on and my husband wanders in and out on the telephone. Besides which, I think I'd find it somewhat eerie talking to myself the whole time!

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes Jan 27, 2015

It's brilliant, it's amazing, it saves time, it's good for the body, good for the soul, cures all known diseases, saves the rainforest and the ozone layer, slices loaves evenly and even shifts stubborn stains.

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 04:22
Turkish to English
+ ...
No Jan 27, 2015

I don't work in a linear manner that would be conducive to the use of such technology. As I work between two languages that, syntactically speaking, are at opposite poles, I find it most productive when working with the long and convoluted sentences I encounter in the legal documents that are my bread and butter work to, initially, identify the bare bones of the main clause and type that first, and then proceed to add the adverbial elements and subordinate clauses in the appropriate places, with the cursor moving back and forth as I do so. I can imagine that there may be more scope for the use of such software when working between languages with a similar syntactic structure, where it may be possible to simply dictate the translation as you are reading, or when dealing with types of text that involve shorter and less complex sentences.

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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 03:22
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
??? Jan 27, 2015

Chris S wrote:

It's brilliant, it's amazing, it saves time, it's good for the body, good for the soul, cures all known diseases, saves the rainforest and the ozone layer, slices loaves evenly and even shifts stubborn stains.


You're about voice recognition software or???


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:22
English to Polish
No Jan 27, 2015

Even if I wanted, I don't think there is one in my language.

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B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:22
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Yes, it's an essential tool for me Jan 27, 2015

I first resorted to voice recognition because, though I'm a fast typist, arthritis limited how long I could comfortably type for and, on some days, made it hard to type at all. I find it absolutely wonderful and the incidence of errors such as "furious mothers" for "failing all others" or calling one of my clients Mr P*** and S*** (without the asterisks) has fallen dramatically in the newer version. That does make it less amusing to work with.

Regarding Tim's reasons for not using VRS, I frequently go backwards to change something earlier in the segment that I am translating, that's what the "insert before" and "select" commands are for. It's no more difficult than using a mouse. I also use it for proofing with "find and replace". From time to time, I choose to type instead (as I am doing now), just to give my fingers some exercise.

Having got used to a good VRS (Dragon), I find the Google VRS on my Android tablet is abysmal and would uninstall it if I could.



[Edited at 2015-01-27 09:33 GMT]


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Richard Lackey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:22
Member (2014)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, for the right projects Jan 27, 2015

I started using voice recognition software six months ago and I find it really useful for lots of projects. I reckon I currently use it two to three days a week. It's not great for all projects, particularly short translations or highly technical content, but for the rest it really is a life saver!

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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 03:22
German to English
+ ...
Agree entirely with Chris S Jan 27, 2015

Been using it for probably 20 years, couldn't do without it, it was the only way I could continue in the profession after having carpal tunnel problems. The lastest products have a very good recognition ability indeed (I miss the ridiculous transcriptions that would occasionally come up with older versions, but there you go!). I use it combination with a handheld dictaphone, which gives me a fair amount of flexibility (I can record wherever I am and feed it into Dragon when I get back to the office). (and yes, it makes a good cup of tea too!)

[Edited at 2015-01-27 09:40 GMT]


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:22
French to English
+ ...
Where's the Like button?! Jan 27, 2015

Agree wholeheartedly with Chris, Barbara and David (hello, btw!) - I started using it some 8 or 9 years ago when I was really struggling with RSI in my wrists and wouldn't be without it. It has probably brought me more productivity gains overall than my CAT tools, for considerably less outlay - I think my first version cost me the princely sum of £50 and recent updates haven't been much more - I find the Home version perfectly adequate for my purposes. I've written about in the ins and outs at length here if anyone is interested to find out more: https://clairecoxtranslations.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/taming-the-dragon/

I think it's probably true that it suits some people's way of working more, but I don't think it comes down to the kinds of text you do or long vs. short sentences. I translate a lot of German patents with huge, convoluted sentences with the verbs at the end and would much rather dictate them than type them! Again, highly technical texts aren't an issue as long as you're familiar with the subject area. It's not ideal if you're having to look up every other word, of course... I find it works better with straight text in full sentences - dictating in short bursts into Excel tables or PowerPoint files is less successful as Dragon doesn't seem to have enough to get its teeth into.

I'm amazed that only 10% of respondents used VRS when I answered the poll - and even more so that 60% didn't and weren't interested (more fool them...).

[Edited at 2015-01-27 09:50 GMT]


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:22
Member (2006)
German to English
No Jan 27, 2015

But I would like to look into using it though. This poll has been asked so many times and most of the replies were that they are good.
Does it also work with Across and studio 2011 / 14?

@ Erzsébet, Chris is just being soooo sarcastic- and it does good to read that, more please;-) Good old GB humour, dont get much of that over here.


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Laura Bissio CT  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 23:22
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It didn't work for me Jan 27, 2015

I tried one of the most popular ones (a year ago) and I gave up. It took too long to "train" the software to recognize many technical expressions, brands, abbreviations, and even common words which I seem to pronounce oddly, so I had to type the correct word (or spell it, or choose the correct option from a drop-down list). I changed the microphone, worked in complete silence, and after a couple of days I still had to correct at least one word in almost every sentence. Then I gave up.
Maybe I'll try again in the future.


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:22
French to English
+ ...
Studio Jan 27, 2015

Michael Harris wrote:

But I would like to look into using it though. This poll has been asked so many times and most of the replies were that they are good.
Does it also work with Across and studio 2011 / 14?

@ Erzsébet, Chris is just being soooo sarcastic- and it does good to read that, more please;-) Good old GB humour, dont get much of that over here.


Michael, since I wrote my article on Dragon, I've upgraded to Studio 2014, so if it works with Studio 2009 and 2014, I'm pretty sure it will work with 2011. I find it works perfectly, also with Wordfast Classic, and I have very satisfied colleagues who use it with MemoQ too. Can't speak for Across, I'm afraid.

And loved Chris' comments too!


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Jan 27, 2015

It's great and has helped me in many ways, already mentioned above. No regrets.

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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:22
French to English
No Jan 27, 2015

No, I don't use voice recognition and despite their claims in this thread, I don't think many people on this website do either.

I do sometimes use speech recognition, however. For my purposes/voice/surroundings/types of text or whatever other reason, I didn't find Dragon any better than the SR that comes built in with Windows 8, so I just use that. (Although it just failed miserably to type anything in here, so perhaps I should review my stance.)


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