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Softwares for tape transcription - feedback needed
Thread poster: Katia Perry

Katia Perry  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:34
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
May 4, 2009

Hi,
does anyone know if softwares like Dragon Naturally Speaking and IMB Via Voice are useful for transcription of tapes?
TIA
Katia


 

Fran Cesca
Italy
Local time: 02:34
English to Italian
+ ...
Via Voice May 4, 2009

Dear Katia,

I do lots of transcriptions in my practice and actually I only rely on the tape/audiofile to do that. Actually I never tested none of them, but I was told by some colleagues that Via Voice needs a long training, i.e. there is lot of work to do to have it recognize the voice.

I do not know if in the meanwhile those systems have been improved in some way and I am an 'old school' translator hardly relying in technology for my work, but I never heard anyone of my colleagues using softwares for transcripts.

Kindest regards,
Francesca


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:34
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I wouldn't think so May 4, 2009

Though I never used them, I've been translating video (from the soundtrack) since 1987, and I know what I've been through, so I don't rhink software would be able able to do it. It's like wondering whether OCR software would be able to cope with (cursive!) handwriting.

Speaking is as personal as handwriting. Considering input from translators that use Dragon & ViaVoice, they had so much trouble calibrating the program for their speech, and take so much care with the way they speak, that I wonder whether it would work generally for anyone's ad-lib talk.


 

Katia Perry  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:34
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks May 4, 2009

Thank you, Francesca and José Henrique.
I was wondering if these softwares were worth the investment. Probably you help me to save some money!
Nice week!
Katia


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:34
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I'll save you more! May 4, 2009

Both Perry and Francesca,

Have you ever tried Express Scribe for audio translation?

I used two open-reel Akai tape recorders for doing it during more than a decade. One, a 1721W is still with me, just in case. The other one, a GX-630D was amazingly heavy, but it had electric controls, so amything required just a touch. I tried Express Scribe for two weeks, and retired both. Haven't used them again for ages.

The best news is that Express Scribe is freeware.

You may download it from http://www.nch.com.au/scribe .

P.S. No need to buy the pedal, the F-keys work fine, as you will be pounding the keuboard already.


 

Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 02:34
Member (2004)
English to Polish
If you really need them... May 5, 2009

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

P.S. No need to buy the pedal, the F-keys work fine, as you will be pounding the keuboard already.


But if you really need them, you can make them yourself (just a little bit of soldering is required) - the professional gear tends to be overpriced... Let me know if you want to know the details.


 

Boris Sigalov
Local time: 03:34
English to Russian
Transcription pedals May 5, 2009

Jabberwock wrote:

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

No need to buy the pedal


But if you really need them, you can make them yourself (just a little bit of soldering is required) - the professional gear tends to be overpriced... Let me know if you want to know the details.


Jabberwock,

I would highly appreciate your time and efforts if you could share the details.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:34
English to Portuguese
+ ...
NCH gives pedal info May 5, 2009

Jabberwock wrote:

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

P.S. No need to buy the pedal, the F-keys work fine, as you will be pounding the keuboard already.


But if you really need them, you can make them yourself (just a little bit of soldering is required) - the professional gear tends to be overpriced... Let me know if you want to know the details.


NCH explains the pedal wiring here:
http://www.nch.com.au/scribe/pedalwiring.html

... and how to adapt game pedals here:
http://www.nch.com.au/scribe/pedals.html

I did initially adapt the pedal from a vintage Agavox transcriber, but didn't like working with it.


 

Katia Perry  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:34
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks again May 5, 2009

Thank you all to the information. I´ll try.
Katia


 

Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 02:34
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Info already given... May 5, 2009

Boris Sigalov wrote:

I would highly appreciate your time and efforts if you could share the details.


Boris,

Actually, José has already given the proper references (you might have posted earlier...).

Basically, you can wire cheap pedals, either from used game wheels or industrial ones, such as those:

http://www.alibaba.com/showroom/Pedal_Switch.html

either directly to a gameport (although not many computers have those anymore) to a serial port (also rare) or rewiring some buttons on any gamepad or joystick.


 

Meezermex
Local time: 19:34
Spanish to English
Not good for very general transcription Oct 23, 2010

After having gone through the hours and days that it takes to train Dragon to understand me accurately, I can definitively tell you that it does not do well with "random" transcripts. It is a program that tailors itself to one user at a time.

Once it is fully "trained" it will do an excellent job of transcribing anything spoken by its trainer, but not for an unknown person. It may recognize some words that are in its database, but that is all.

Off topic, I would like to say that I love this product. I do Spanish to English translation, and training the program to understand new words is very simple and effective. For example, if I am reading a document and am doing instantaneous translation, and I know that there is a name that it will not recognize; I can spend maybe 10 seconds training it and keep going for the rest of the document without having to worry about retraining it. I also love how it learns to recognize the various pronunciations of a single word.

I hope this helps!


 

Geraldine Oudin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Japanese to French
+ ...
Express Scribe Oct 23, 2010

I have been using Express Scribe for years.
You don't need a pedal as you can use the "F" keys to do the same job.


 

Katia Perry  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:34
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Oct 25, 2010

Then, can I say that although Dragon is worthless for transcription it may be helpful in accelerating my translation capacity, as long as I can speak faster than typing?

 

Milos Prudek  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 02:34
English to Czech
+ ...
Heals hurting wrists Oct 25, 2010

perry wrote:
it may be helpful in accelerating my translation capacity?


Even if it did not make you more productive, it would always save your wrists. Long typing sessions result in repetitive stress injury, carpal tunnel syndrome or just wrist and finger pain...


 

Katia Perry  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:34
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, Milos! Oct 25, 2010

undoubtedly, this is something to consider. After all, I intend to be in this profession for a long time...

 
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