Experience with Voice Recognition software?
Thread poster: Mark Osborne
Mark Osborne  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:53
French to English
+ ...
Apr 14, 2004

Hi everyone,

My office is considering experimenting with Voice Recognition software, probably either IBM's ViaVoice or Dragon's NaturallySpeaking. Do any of you have any experience of translating with this sort of software? We would still want to use our CAT tools, especially TRADOS. I presume it is possible to open a segment with TRADOS and then simply speak my translation, so benefitting both from my TM and the voice recognition software... Any tips or help would be most welcome, especially about whether this investment would really help us to be more productive.

Thanks for your help!


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Patricia Fierro, M. Sc.  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:53
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dragon Naturally Speaking 5 and Trados Apr 14, 2004


This topic has been discussed before. If you search for "Dragon" on the left-side panel and choose Forums, you will get several hits such as:


I have used Dragon Naturally Speaking 5 and Trados 5. They work well together. Voice recognition software recognizes about 80 or 90% of the words, though, so you do have to review a lot.

Good luck.

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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:53
English to German
+ ...
My experience Apr 15, 2004

I have been using Dragon Naturally Speaking.

It isn't working that well on my computer, probably because my soundcard isn't that good. It took me a week to find the right settings for my soundcard, and now have a recognition rate of about 60% which isn't that good. I'm typing much faster.

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French to English
my practical experience Apr 15, 2004


I sometimes use Dragon Naturally Speaking 6. Whether or not it is effective and/or useful depends, in my view, on how fast you can type and how fast you can translate.

In my view, it is a good investment only if you are slow at typing and if the documents you need typed are documents which you can translate quickly i.e. at approximately "normal" reading out loud speed. This is because Dragon works best if you talk at a normal speed, otherwise the recognition is poor and you subsequently waste a lot of time making amendments.

Most of the documents I translate are fairly heavy going and it is rare that I can translate them by just sitting down with the source document and reading out the translation, without some stopping and starting. I tend to use Dragon only if I have a lot to type and the subject matter of the document is easy. I then can speak at a normal pace and the end result - as typed by "Dragon" - is better.

It all depends on your way of working of course. I have tried, with complicated translations, working on a rough draft first, and then reading it out using Dragon but I find this does not save much time in the end...


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Suzanne Blangsted  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:53
Danish to English
+ ...

You can do anything you want to with Dragon as long as you understand the program. I have used Dragon for 6 years now, from the earliest version to the latest version now. There are support chat-groups on the net and also good support from ScanSoft who sells the product plus support from "knowbrainer.com", which is an excellent source of info. I have answered many questions regarding Dragon here on Proz, so I suggest you go to the previous questions where you will find answers to Dragon questions. By the way, I understand that Microsoft is coming out with a new voice recognition system, which might be something to include in your considerations.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:53
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Try shareware Apr 21, 2004

Mark Osborne wrote:
My office is considering experimenting with Voice Recognition software...

I have found a few shareware voice recognition programs by googling for "voice recognition"+free+download.

Download a few so that you can get used to the type of quality you're getting. The ones you pay more than USD 50.00 for are usually all alike in terms of quality.

[Edited at 2004-04-21 14:27]

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