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Dragon Naturally Speaking
Thread poster: Barbara Cashin

Barbara Cashin
Local time: 13:05
German to English
Sep 16, 2013

Hello everyone,

Up till now, I have assumed that I would not be able to use Dragon Naturally Speaking with CAT programs, but when I was checking this out, I found a forum on some problems experienced with it, so some people do seem to be using it.

I am seriously considering buying it. I use SDL Trados, MemoQ and Transit NXT. What I would like to know is whether any of you that are using it would recommend it? I am experiencing some serious problems with my hands - whether RSI or arthritis I don't know - so it would be a boon to use this type of software.

I tried it many years ago and couldn't train the program to understand me. I assume and hope that the software is much improved since then.

Any contribution to the subject would be very welcome.

Best wishes

Barbara Cashin


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Shai Navé  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 15:05
Member
English to Hebrew
+ ...
It's working Sep 16, 2013

There is no reason why it wouldn't work with Translation Environment Tools, or any other software for that matter. However, it is not optimized for this enviroment, but still seems to work pretty well as Kevin Lossner describes in his blog.

I also recommend reading Professional-Quality Translation at Light Speed: Why Voice Recognition May Well be the Most Disruptive Translation Technology You’ve Never Heard of by Kevin Hendzel.

And lastly, I assume that they offer some kind of trial period. Use that to experiment with the software, see how it fits your workflow, identify issues (if any) and see how you can solve them, etc.


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Stuart Hoskins
Local time: 14:05
Czech to English
+ ...
Trados Sep 16, 2013

I recently bought DNS myself after posting a question here earlier this month. I use it with Trados and it's fine (you translate each segment in the DNS "dictation box", then transfer it to Trados with a simple command).

There do appear to be some conflicts with antivirus software - my DNS user profile became corrupted today and it took ages to find a fix.

As for training, I have found it more useful to train phrases rather than individual words, because the program has some difficulty recognizing certain single words, even though I speak with a "typical" south-east British accent.

So, on the whole, yes, there is much less keyboard work, which will benefit not only your fingers but perhaps also your back!

Anyway, I'm still a newbie, so perhaps someone experienced has more salient input.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
Should work OK Sep 16, 2013

I don't use Trados (...) myself, but my friend does and he's been using Dragon for years with it without any problems.
I use it with WF Classic and ditto, it's great and really takes the strain off my wrists etc.

PS: RE. "I tried it many years ago and couldn't train the program to understand me", I believe this occurs with certain regional accents. Mine is Glaswegian, but I learnt to modify it a bit when teaching EFL and I've never had anything but minor issues to speak of with Dragon.

[Edited at 2013-09-16 16:45 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
Great link Sep 16, 2013



Thanks for the links. The blog is interesting, especially the caveats. I'd be wary about upping my 2000-3000 words a day limit for clients though, as it's already bad enough when a few of them all turn up at once with "urgent" requests.


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Maxime Bujakov  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:05
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
MS Word files input to Dragon Sep 16, 2013

Barbara Cashin wrote:

I tried it many years ago and couldn't train the program to understand me. I assume and hope that the software is much improved since then.

Any contribution to the subject would be very welcome.

Best wishes

Barbara Cashin


Dear Barbara,

I have been enjoying various versions of Dragon Naturally ... since 2004 whenever I work into English.

One day I set a record of 9000 words translated in one day.

How I trained Dragon: it has a function to be glossary/frequency trained with MS Word files input (which, in our case, would be the Target language part of your TM extracted into an MS Word file).
But beware, if you feed in some typos it will be a bummer.

I use Dragon primarily with Trados workbench in MS Word.
If I have to work in TagEditor, I usually do a trick of copying plain text from TagEditor into Word, then sky-rocketing my productivity thanks to excellent Word's typing aids,
then manually adding tags in TagEditor using pre-translated fuzzy matches fed by Trados.

Cheers!


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matt robinson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:05
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Innit, though? Sep 16, 2013

So, Neil, you are one of their number. Life is full of disappointments!

http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/shortcuts/2013/sep/10/glaswegian-cockney-eastenders-scottish-accents


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Artem Vakhitov  Identity Verified
Estonia
English to Russian
+ ...
What about Russian? Sep 16, 2013

Maxime Bujakov wrote:


I have been enjoying various versions of Dragon Naturally ... since 2004 whenever I work into English.



Does it work for Russian yet?


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James McVay  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:05
Russian to English
+ ...
I'm using it right now Sep 16, 2013

I've been using Dragon NaturallySpeaking with OmegaT for several years now. It works fine even though DNS doesn't support OmegaT. I just have to remember to tell it to capitalize the first letter in a sentence and not capitalize the first letter of words I insert in a segment.

It should work quite well with Wordfast Classic since WF Classic is based on MS Word, and DNS is very compatible with Word.


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:05
French to English
+ ...
Trados Studio and Wordfast Classic Sep 16, 2013

I've been using DNS for five years or so to great effect with Wordfast and for the last couple of years with Studio. No problems at all with Wordfast, but sometimes Studio types annoying continental speechmarks if you pause to think (breathe!) which you have to delete before continuing. It doesn't always do it, and I can't work out why it should do it, but it's a very minor niggle. Also, the predictive typing that both later versions of Wordfast and Studio offer are of little or no use with Dragon, so if you know a text has a lot of things which are already in your TM or glossary, you may be faster typing and making use of a single keystroke for recognised items.

In saying that, for straight text in a field I'm familiar with, the productivity gains with Dragon are enormous. I know that if I have to do a huge burst on a rush job, I can really up my daily rates. As someone else has said, my record is about 10,000 words in a day with a CAT tool, but obviously that's without proof-reading and you certainly wouldn't want to do it every day! I find the recognition quality excellent (I have Version 11.5) and my accent is from North-West England. It took about 20/30 minutes to train in the first instance, then off you go. It doesn't like single words, as others have said, so it's not ideal for Excel sheets or PowerPoint presentations with minimal text, but for straight text it's a real boon.

I initially invested in DNS to combat severe RSI and found it miraculously helpful - problem solved in fact, where all else had failed. I'd tried acupuncture, changing my desk, my chair, an ergonomic keyboard and mouse, footrest, different working positions, but nothing worked until I started dictating. I had been used to dictating when I worked in-house many moons ago, so I found it relatively easy to adapt: it certainly requires a different way of working and some people find it easier than others. I still use the mouse or keyboard shortcuts for the Wordfast or Studio commands, as I found DNS didn't always pick them up properly and you could have done them in the time it took for Dragon to recognise them - but that's far fewer strokes than if you were typing the whole text.

All in all, I reckon it's the best investment I've ever made and I heartily recommend it! I have a friend who uses it successfully with MemoQ too (again with the caveat about losing the predictive test function), so I don't think you've anything to lose.


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 08:05
Member
Spanish
+ ...
Get a great microphone Sep 17, 2013

It doesn't matter how much you train it, the key is to get a really good microphone. The better it is, the better it will work.

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Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro
Germany
Local time: 14:05
Member (2011)
English to German
+ ...
Anyone using it with browser-based online systems? Sep 17, 2013

I have one very important client who requires that I work within a (rather annoying) browser-based online system. Has anyone tried to use DNS in such an environment, or anyhow within a browser? Are there problems to expect?

How long did it take you to reach full or increased productivity with the software?


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Maxime Bujakov  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:05
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Russian yet? Sep 17, 2013

Artem Vakhitov wrote:
Does it work for Russian yet?


I think somebody tried to train Dragon Russian many years ago. It could type cyrillic.
No idea what's up now.


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Barbara Cashin
Local time: 13:05
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you everyone Sep 17, 2013

This has been really helpful in coming to a decision. I have ordered the premium version and am looking forward to using it. I found everyone's advice very helpful, particularly that of Claire Cox. I have ordered a microphone, but if it is unsatisfactory it won't be too much of a loss - any suggestions as to brand?

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Noe Tessmann  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:05
English to German
+ ...
tablemike Sep 17, 2013

Dear Barbara,

my colleague who works since over 10 years exclusively with DNS thinks that this one is the best on the market. You don't have anything on your head, no cables, no fuzz.

I have one too, but for starting with DNS I'd have to change my way of working. Maybe one day. It seems that it really pays off.

www.tablemike.com

KR

Noe




[Edited at 2013-09-17 13:20 GMT]


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