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What version of Dragon? Home, Premium, Professional?
Thread poster: Luca Tutino

Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:55
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Oct 22, 2015

I am tempted to try DNS once again after many years, and I would like to know if the Home version would be good enough or I should get something better. I wonder if and how Premium offers an increased speed compared to Home, etc.

In particular, if you are using a Home version, I would like to know if you noticed any significant problem or you really miss a premium or professional feature.


I am currently using Trados Studio 2014 and some Transit XV under Win7 64-bit on an Intel I3 core with 8GB of RAM and a SD. I like to leverage CAT functions and use macros (MSWord, AutoHotkey etc.), but I would not mind pressing some key manually if necessary. And I should write in Italian.

I hope this question is not too obvious. A quick search could not find a clear and recent answer.



[Edited at 2015-10-22 14:11 GMT]


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Premium for me Oct 22, 2015

I chose the Premium version, simpler because it was in the middle of the three available at the time. It does everything I want it to, but I don't know about the Home version.

 

Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:55
French to English
+ ...
Home is perfectly adequate Oct 22, 2015

Hi Luca,

I've been using Dragon for the past 9 years and have always found Home to be perfectly adequate for my needs. As far as I'm aware, Premium is useful if you want to use it to dictate in two different languages as the foreign language versions come in the foreign language AND English, and also if you want to be able to dictate straight into programs such as PowerPoint or Excel. If like me, you only use these programs via a CAT tool, that's not a problem. I use Dragon Home (my version is 11.5) with both Studio 2014 and Wordfast Classic and find it works perfectly. A colleague who has back problems and wants to limit her use of the mouse/keyboard to the absolute minimum swears by the most expensive Dragon Professional Individual as that enables her to customise all the Studio commands and dictate all commands as well - I personally don't find it any effort to press Crtl+Enter at the end of a segment and click on various commands, although Dragon does respond surprisingly well to basic commands.

I've written more about my experiences in my blog post: https://clairecoxtranslations.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/taming-the-dragon/ but don't hesitate to ask if I can be of any more assistance.

Good luck!

Claire


 

Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:55
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Oct 23, 2015

Thank you all and especially Claire for your useful information.

I also wonder if with the Home version is possible to issue commands like "press control V", to simulate the use of shortcuts?


 

Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:55
French to English
+ ...
Just experimented... Oct 23, 2015

Hi Luca,

I've just experimented and although you can't say "press control C" or "press control V", you can say "'Select xxx", then "Copy xxxx" followed by "Paste xxx" where you want it to go. I personally think it's quicker doing it using the mouse and keyboard shortcuts but it's certainly possible.

Thinking about it, it may be that you will need the Premium version anyway, as I don't know whether the Italian version comes in Home or just Premium? With the Premium version you'd have English as well.

Incidentally, I attended the SDL Roadshow yesterday and it transpires that DNS 13 is faster and more accurate than DNS 11.5, but doesn't interact as well with so-called "unsupported" programs such as Trados. In effect, this means that commands such as "select that" or "copy that" won't work in Trados with DNS 13 and later models, whereas they certainly do for me using DNS 11.5. I find the accuracy and speed absolutely fine too so it might be something worth bearing in mind....

All the best,

Claire


 

Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:55
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Useful info Oct 23, 2015

I was thinking more of the possibility to activate macros and special commands by emulating the pression of a key... I have found that the Home edition is also available in Italian, but I am now also considering the Premium version. Thank you again.

 

Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:55
French to English
+ ...
Customised commands = Professional Oct 23, 2015

From what my colleague was saying at the recent ITI German Network workshop on the subject, if you want to use Dragon to customise commands extensively and not use the mouse or keyboard shortcuts at all, then Professional is the way to go - but it's much more expensive, of course.

 

Richard Lackey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Home version Oct 23, 2015

Hi Luca,

I can second Claire's recommendation that the Home version is fine. I have the Home version of Dragon NS 13 and it works great in Studio 2014 and 2015 to dictate translations. For me, dictation is the real advantage of using voice recognition so I'm not so concerned with activating special commands or shortcuts. I think you'll be fine with 8 GB of RAM too, it's the same as my computer, but a computer would struggle with anything less. Don't forget to get a decent, comfortable headset to work with.

By the way, it was nice meet you at the Roadshow yesterday Claire!


 

Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:55
French to English
+ ...
Ditto Oct 23, 2015

It was lovely to meet you too, Richard - hope you got home safely after the splendid cocktail session laid on for us by SDL! I'm definitely tempted to upgrade to Studio 2015 now; just hope I don't put myself out of synch with my main clients who are still with 2014 (or earlier!).

Have a lovely weekend!

Claire


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:55
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Headset Oct 25, 2015

Richard Lackey wrote:

.....Don't forget to get a decent, comfortable headset to work with.

!


As a Mac user I already have the excellent Dictation software that comes as part of the MacOS, so I don't need Dragon.

However I *do* need a good headset, because have tried about 3 so far I've found them all very uncomfortable and difficult to adjust so that the microphone is close to my mouth.

It doesn't help that I wear glasses, which I take off and put back on all the time - leading to difficult tangles with the cable of my headset !

What I'd really like is a microphone only (I don't need to hear, only speak) either USB or even better, Bluetooth and of course, not expensive.

All suggestions welcome.


 

Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:55
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Headset Oct 25, 2015

I eventually decided and went for the Premium, because I read that Home does not allow to export and migrate voice improvements and vocabularies when you upgrade to a new version, and I hope there will be a lower chance of troubles should I decide to finally activate Win10. I also phoned Nuance Italian office and they also said that I might have fewer problems integrating it with a CAT tools and with shortcuts in general - actually they did not seem to know anything about CATs, but this is the impression I got after a chat.

The first day at work is not very impressive because DNS Premium is not able to interact directly with Transit (I have to dictate in a separate window) and does not move around at all in the CAT. I believe that Home would have behaved identically in this respect, as Claire and Richard suggested. Yet, I am quite happy with the responsiveness and I hope soon I will get better at using it, somehow.

Tom in London wrote:
However I *do* need a good headset
...
All suggestions welcome.


Hi Tom, I think this time I have a good suggestion for you. The glasses were a problem for me too at first, and I did not enjoy the silent earpiece stuck in my ear. But thanks to its very short flexible mic arm, I now hang my headset on my shirt so that the microphone is almost in contact with my throat. And I am impressed: I could not notice many errors (after the very short training offered by DNS V13) in a full day.

This headset was offered by "TOOGOO(R)" on amazon.it under ASIN B00C4Q21R8 as a Skype tool, and a review there suggested it was perfect to use for Dragon as well as the "Lavalier" option.

It is sold out at the moment, but I trust you will be able to find it based on the description and its photo from amazon (if you cannot get it, I can send it by email). And, last but not least the price was just €4,59!


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:55
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Grazie Luca Oct 25, 2015

Thanks Luca but I can not find that specific object. If you could send me an email I would be grateful!

 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:55
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Welcome to the wonderful world of voice translation Luca! Oct 25, 2015

As of version 13, headset mics are no longer necessary (I hate them and have never used one), especially if you select the ‘Far Field’ option when setting up a new profile. However, not all languages have access to the Far Field option yet, so you may not be able to use it (e.g., it is available for US English, but not for UK English). It is also not available in older versions of Dragon. I think they added it in v 13, so only 13 and 14 have it. Far field is optimised for a mic that is located farther away, e.g. a desktop mic. I am getting extremely good results (around 98%) with mine, together with Dragon Professional Individual 14, which is the latest version.
However, note also that Dragon 13 and 14 have been improved so much that it is often very possible to get near perfect results with a desktop mic, even if you don't use the Far Field speech model. However, this will usually require the use of a good quality mic and good dictation style (clear diction, etc.).

In terms of macros, I think the cheapest option is actually to use something like Vocola (which is free, and allows you to create voice commands for almost anything under the sun), and get the lowest version of Dragon that still has the other features you want, but if you are not a fan of fiddling and other nerdery, probably just get the Premium or Pro version of Dragon. Scripting and voice macros in Vocola is much more powerful than pure Dragon scripting though.

The place to be for anything voice recognition-related is the KnowBrainer forum: http://www.knowbrainer.com/forums/forum/index.cfm
I would also strongly recommend you do not buy directly from Nuance, but from http://www.knowbrainer.com as their support and service is much better, and more personalised. However, they may not stock all languages, I'm not sure. You'd have to check that. I also think they are often cheaper. Incidentally, KnowBrainer also have their own voice command tool (KnowBrainer 2015), and although I prefer Vocola, I think many people would probably prefer theirs, also to Dragon's built in scripting system.

What you can and can't do in a particular app will depend on various things; this is best asked about in the KnowBrainer forums. Here are some quick points:

(1) Nuance dumbed down their software in certain respects (removed functionality) after version 12.5, so some apps in which you still had ‘Full’ or ‘Basic Text Control’ in the past now no longer work. However, sometimes it is merely a matter of adjusting some settings to make it so you can dictate directly in your app (e.g. Transit), without having to dictate in a second window. Make sure: Tools > Options > Miscellaneous > (×) Use the dictation box for unsupported applications is unchecked. Do this, and then try dictating in Transit again!

(2) ‘Full Text Control’ (= basically, the ability to dictate text, plus the ability to then select any of these words by voice, to then edit them) is only available in a very small number of apps (MS Word, Notepad, memoQ, and a few others).

(3) Some very clever people (one of the most important of these being a certain Mark Lillibridge) are actually working to get ‘Full Text Control’ working everywhere (for free), and I am currently testing one of these solutions, and have already almost gotten it to work in my Java CAT tool CafeTran. For the geeks, see: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/VoiceCoder/conversations/messages/8434

(4) Incidentally, the new version of KnowBrainer (out any day now), will allow you to dictate into any window, directly. Note that this is different than ‘Full Text Control’. It's just the ability to dictate anywhere, without having to resort to the second window.

(5) I was a a panellist in the recent webinar, ‘Leveraging voice recognition technology for greater efficiency panel’ (in this year's ProZ.com 2015 virtual conference for International Translation Day) where we discussed many of these topics: http://www.proz.com/virtual-conferences/668/program/10534 (which Drew from Proz.com kindly put online so they can still be watched)

Michael

[Edited at 2015-10-25 19:09 GMT]


 

Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:55
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Of course! Oct 25, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

Thanks Luca but I can not find that specific object. If you could send me an email I would be grateful!


Done. I hope it helps!


 

Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:55
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great stuff! Oct 25, 2015

Michael Beijer wrote:
I was a a panellist in the recent webinar

Yes, I listened to your webinar (albeit very quickly) and it helped in confirming my decision to try DNS once again. I could only find the Italian version through Nuance Italia and I will certainly look at Vocola and keep an eye on Lillibridge's results.

And now I can dictate directly in Transit. Thank you Michael!


 
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