Nov 6, 2011

Transcribing with Dragon

One idea that fascinated me with Dragon Naturally Speaking is the potential for using the software to transcribe dictated messages on recording devices. I have often been interested in possibilities for translation away from the computer. In fact, the possibility of translating my by dictation is one that has a long history and which is of great personal interest to me, because I think that it may be possible to achieve a very different flow and quality from that which is typically achieved when writing on a computer. So, while visiting a friend, I purchased an inexpensive Olympus recording device for about €50, then I trained DNS to use it and began my experiment. 
The text above is my first attempt at transcribing from a small, portable recording device to Dragon Naturally Speaking. One small correction (marked). My expectations were not high when I decided to try this. The microphone in my headset is of rather modest quality, and the errors, as noted in my last post, can be devilish. But the recording device gave excellent results. A few other texts I have tested look equally good. So it seems my dream of dictating translation drafts off original printed texts or originals migrated to my Kindle may become true soon. In combination with memoQ LiveDocs, I see some very interesting potential translation and revision workflows. Stay tuned.


  1. This is a great idea, Kevin!

    I'll be looking forward to hear more about it.


    Nicolás Vercesi

  2. Hi Kevin. Interesting thought.

    There are also a couple of Dragon apps for iPhone/iPad which could make this process even easier.


    Depends on what workflow you wish to achieve, I guess. I look forward to more on this.

    David Turnbull

  3. I use a 'digital dictaphone' with Dragon Naturally Speaking too. I find it really helps for certain texts.

  4. That idea about dictating translation drafts migrated to your Kindle is a cool idea. I really love those things. Never thought of that one, though. Good luck!

  5. John Flood-PaddockNovember 07, 2011 5:50 PM

    Hi, Kevin
    Did you dictate into the recorder the same way you'd dictate into a PC running Dragon I wonder?
    Or was there some "synergy" enabling you (for example) to dictate faster into the recorder?
    It would also be interesting to know what output on the recorder you connected to which input on the computer, volume level settings (not relevant if using USB?), etc.
    I'm thinking about buying Dragon so I can try out what you seem to be doing well with.

  6. No particular synergy, John. I think the built-in mike just worked better than my headset, and I was fairly relaxed. As for the cable, I'll have to look when I find it; I mislaid the device during the frequent travels of the past two months, and I may end up replacing it if it doesn't turn up soon. I did note, however, that Olympus makes another (slightly more expensive) model which is claimed to be specially configured to work "better" with Dragon. But I was satisfied with what I had.


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