Turning recorded speech into written text
Thread poster: María M. Canavesio
María M. Canavesio
Argentina
Local time: 05:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 20, 2011

Translating audio files usually takes a lot of time as you usually have to turn audio files into written text before you start translating them. They’ve told me “Dragon Naturally Speaking Premium 11.5 ” can save you a lot of time by turning recorded speech into text much faster than typing.

Does anyone has had already some experience with this software? Is it accurate?

I will really appreciate your comments and suggestions.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:01
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Does require review work Jul 20, 2011

My sister does this regularly: she records her university classes and then processes them with Dragon to obtain the written class.

The result very much depends on the quality of the audio. If the audio is a very good quality, the results are better. You must also take into account that Dragon requires to train the software for the voice that will get interpreted, and that you will not be able to train the software with the voice/voices in your audio, so the result will always be far from ideal.

In any case, my sister's experience is positive in general: when she reviews the processed file, she has to make many corrections, but the whole process is faster than typing everything by hand.


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bohy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:01
English to French
+ ...
punctuation is important Jul 20, 2011

There is a huge difference between dictating a text for Dragon, and using pre-recorded text: the latter has no punctuation information in it. I tried once to get something from a recorded text (philosophy lessons), but it didn't work well for two reasons : it was free speech, with a loose sentence structure, and there was no punctuation (especially no full stops) dictated in it. From the results I got, I understood that Dragon was not exactly designed to handle that kind of situation, and the whole thing was more or less crazy. I'd be very interested to know about other (more successful) experiences...

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:01
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
What kind of recording? Jul 20, 2011

I reckon another important factor here is the nature of the recordings. It can go from good-quality, single-talent voice overs to multiple people having a conversation with a tape recorder on the table.

If you ask me, several Spanish people having a friendly conversation is probably something Dragon would not cope with at all! Too fast, too many partial sentences, to many er's and hum's...


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María M. Canavesio
Argentina
Local time: 05:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Price of the software Jul 20, 2011

Yes, I agree with you Tomás, but I would use it for conference recorded videos where there is no voice overlapping or at least there shouldn't be.

Does anyone know which the lowest price is, by any chance?


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adam0718
Local time: 13:31
Turning recorded speech into written text Jul 21, 2011

Dictation Pro works well too - and it is completely free. Download here: http://www.deskshare.com/dictation.aspx

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LegalTrans D  Identity Verified
Turkey
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Dictate it! Jul 22, 2011

This may sound like an odd suggestion, María, but has helped me a number of times--although under different circumstances, I admit.

Still, considering the time it would take to edit a document converted from a sound recording with the aid of a software, I think that listening to the recording and dictating it sentence by sentence "on the fly", as it were, might be a feasible idea.

Dictating allows you to dictate the punctuation, especially the full stops that you may need for processing and segmenting the document with a CAT tool. Plus, Dragon or the Windows Speech Recognition functionality is "accustomed" to your voice and would let you dictate with an extremely high degree of accuracy.

I occasionally use this method with pdfs of poor quality that don't render themselves to OCR-ing or converting. It might be a last resort in your case, too, especially if the sound quality of your recording isn't absolute top.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:01
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Odd, but sensible Jul 22, 2011

Volkmar Hirantner wrote:
This may sound like an odd suggestion, María, but has helped me a number of times--although under different circumstances, I admit.

As odd as it may sound, from my experience with Dragon I entirely agree that this could be really helpful.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:01
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Quite frankly... Jul 22, 2011

I've heard from some colleagues who had some temporary physical problem and used that software to dictate their "sight translations". It took them months to calibrate the software to their manner of speaking, as well as for them to fine-tune their speech for higher accuracy. However I don't believe it's possible to do it efficiently with recordings from a "strange" speaker.

By far the worst of it is what I describe as "mission: impossible" on this page: recording quality. I think it's more worthwhile to invest in software to remove noise and normalize bad recordings we get to transcribe/translate. Unfortnately, these are often not enough; the sound we need to hear simply is not there, or it's so heavily muffled that we have to turn down the job.


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tanvi12
India
Speech to Text Service Aug 28, 2013

Hi Maria! I haven’t used Dragon before but I know this transcription service - www.speechtotextservice.com. It really works great. You can try it.

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