Anyone using Dragon Naturally Speaking or any other speech to text tool?

by satrap
32 replies
English is not my mother tongue, I have never taken any class to learn to read, write and speak English. I just learned it by... I guess being in the US for the past 8 years or so.

So, speaking isn't a problem, but as you can imagine I still have some problems with writing. Not to mention I am very slow when it comes to typing.

While researching, I came across DNS (Dragon Naturally Speaking) and I find it very interesting. For those not familiar, its basically a speech to text software. You speck to it and it turns it into written words.

I think it will be a big help for me. I have to spend a lot of time writing and going back a few times to make sure everything is spelled correctly, grammar ok and all the rest (and even after all of that, I still manage to make mistakes here and there, lol). So, it really doesn't leave me enough time to get other things done (seo and all the rest).

I thought maybe a speech to text software may help me create more content faster. But, I just wanted to get some feedback before I purchase it.

Does any warrior uses Dragon Naturally Speaking voice to text software? If so whats you experience been like as far as accuracy rate is concerned?

If anyone else knows or uses any other speech to text software, please do share your experience as well.

Oh by the way, anyone with foreign accent using DNS? If so, whats the accuracy rate and how hard is it to train the software to recognize your accent?...

I appreciate your feedback. Thank you..
#dragon #naturally #speaking #speech #text #tool
  • Profile picture of the author stephenwaldo
    Well, the good news is that yes, DNS makes content creation go by a lot faster.

    The bad news is that even with a seamless natural accent it's not perfect, and you'll still have to go back through and edit everything and make sure punctuation etc is as you'd like it to be. It takes some getting used to, and it'll take it a couple weeks of consistent usage for it to 'learn' your voice. I believe they actually do have a non-native profile setting built in (It asks you your accent when you're setting it up).

    It's really handy, and I do recommend you try it out if you think it'd help. I'm a fast typist, so it doesn't really save time for me, but it does give my hands a huge break for carpal tunnel.

    Anyways, I hope that helps. If you're using a computer with Windows 7 there's a speech recognition program built in that's actually not half bad...May be worth checking out. Dragon is far superior, though.

    Kindly,
    - Stephen
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  • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
    Dragon Naturally Speaking has been one of the
    best investments in my online business I have
    ever made.

    It saves me an amzing amount of time. I can
    "write" emails, blog posts, ebooks and even
    forum posts much more quickly with Dragon
    Naturally Speaking than with keyboard pecking!

    You need to be prepared to invest time with
    Dragon Naturally Speaking to train the system
    to recognise your voice... the more time you
    put into the training phase the more accurate
    your output will be.

    John
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    John's Internet Marketing News, Views & Reviews: John Taylor Online
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  • Profile picture of the author Tricerra
    As a writer I use Dragon Naturally Speaking a lot for doing first drafts. I have been able to punch out upward of 1500 words and hour using this program. It was previously mentioned that while you can get a lot of work done, it requires heavy editing to make sure it is correct. It also requires time for the software to adapt to your voice, accents and speaking patterns.

    The software learns quickly and if you take the time to train the software as suggested, and let it scan the documents and emails on your computer it will pick up the patterns of your speech and writing that much faster. Dragon Naturally Speaking is a tool. Learn to use it properly and it will do wonders for you.

    By the way, I have been told that at times I have a rather strong Southern Accent and the software works very well for me.

    David
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    • Profile picture of the author JimDucharme
      Originally Posted by Tricerra View Post

      As a writer I use Dragon Naturally Speaking a lot for doing first drafts.

      David
      Bloody brilliant! Maybe I shouldn't admit this, but I never even considered DNS for this application. I wouldn't want to use it (I like to hear the keys go clickety clack) to write a whole post or piece, but for drafts...great idea!

      Thanks for the inspiration David!

      Regards,
      jim
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  • Profile picture of the author webovative
    I really like it, I just upgraded to version 11 and its a lot better than 10. Like everyone says, you do have to go back and correct but its great for first drafts.
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  • Profile picture of the author jtone
    I've used it quite a lot, it's a great tool and I think it could suite you fine if you are a better speaker than writer
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    Yes I have a "foreign" accent - Orstrayan - and yes I use DNS - the Mac version "Dragon Dictate".

    Its excellent for getting a natural conversational style to your copywriting. Not only that - I had Carpal Tunnel Surgery on my right hand early this year and couldn't type while it healed. So the Dragon came to the rescue. You can also walk around your office as you dictate - either with a long lead connection or a cordless Bluetooth connection.

    It does take a while to get used to your accent but gets better and better. For instance, at first, every time I said "Australian" it would type "Austrian". But after I punched it a few times it soon sorted itself out. ;-)

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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    I use Dragon coming up on two years now....LOVE IT!

    I just am not a good typist, so it's essential for me to turn out
    work quickly - once trained Dragon is remarkably accurate.

    I will say an accent may require some additional training, though.
    _____
    Bruce
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  • Profile picture of the author Brendan Vraibel
    I have it and agree that it takes a while to train the program. I am unfortunate enough to have a Boston accent and it took a while for me to get the hang of it. It's really cool once you do though. Just speak and look it over briefly to edit and you're good to go.
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    • Profile picture of the author satrap
      Thank you everyone for taking time to share your experience. After reading countless amazon reviews and especially after reading your comments, I think I am going to get it. I think I can get the new version for around $50 on amazon.

      Oh by the way, I forgot, does the headphone that comes with the software any good, or do you guys use a different one? If so, any recommendation would be appreciated. thank you.


      Originally Posted by stephenwaldo View Post

      Well, the good news is that yes, DNS makes content creation go by a lot faster.

      The bad news is that even with a seamless natural accent it's not perfect, and you'll still have to go back through and edit everything and make sure punctuation etc is as you'd like it to be. It takes some getting used to, and it'll take it a couple weeks of consistent usage for it to 'learn' your voice. I believe they actually do have a non-native profile setting built in (It asks you your accent when you're setting it up).

      It's really handy, and I do recommend you try it out if you think it'd help. I'm a fast typist, so it doesn't really save time for me, but it does give my hands a huge break for carpal tunnel.

      Anyways, I hope that helps. If you're using a computer with Windows 7 there's a speech recognition program built in that's actually not half bad...May be worth checking out. Dragon is far superior, though.

      Kindly,
      - Stephen

      Yeah, thats what I have heard and red on Amazon (reviews from users). But most did point out that after a while it start getting better and your work of going back and editing minimizes.

      I did try Windows speech recognition program and it really didn't cut it for me. Thanks for the suggestion though.



      Originally Posted by Tricerra View Post

      As a writer I use Dragon Naturally Speaking a lot for doing first drafts. I have been able to punch out upward of 1500 words and hour using this program. It was previously mentioned that while you can get a lot of work done, it requires heavy editing to make sure it is correct. It also requires time for the software to adapt to your voice, accents and speaking patterns.

      The software learns quickly and if you take the time to train the software as suggested, and let it scan the documents and emails on your computer it will pick up the patterns of your speech and writing that much faster. Dragon Naturally Speaking is a tool. Learn to use it properly and it will do wonders for you.

      By the way, I have been told that at times I have a rather strong Southern Accent and the software works very well for me.

      David
      Sure, that seems to be the one thing I hear over and over again. The more time you spend on training it, the better results you will get. Thanks for the respond.
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      • Profile picture of the author Yogini
        I bought it a few weeks ago (ver 11.5) and I really like it. I haven't tried to correct it and it seems to work pretty well. There are some errors so I do go over it manually, but it saves so much time. I am using the headset that came with it. There are some oddities. Whenever I say the word "minutes" , it seems to always abbreviate it as min. I think it takes adjusting to think faster than usual. I am used to thinking at the pace of my typing, but now that it types faster, I can increase the speed.

        By the way, if you get it at 59.00 from compusa (tigerdirect) you can then lose the 20.00 rebate coupon online so it ends up being only 39.00.

        Debbie
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      • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
        Originally Posted by satrap View Post


        Oh by the way, I forgot, does the headphone that comes with the software any good, or do you guys use a different one? If so, any recommendation would be appreciated. thank you.
        I use a Plantronics CS60-USB wireless microphone. It
        gives me great sound quality and I can "dictate" from
        just about anywhere within 100' of my laptop.


        John
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  • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
    Someone commented that he managed to get his windows speech recognition software working well by sending himself an email on the subject he wanted to talk about, and then replying to that. The software knew what he was talking about from the email.

    I thought it was a brilliant idea, both on the part of the software and the person. It would probably work with DNS too.
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  • Profile picture of the author RylanClayne
    I use DNS every day and I have to say it really is a time saver. The freedom to just 'freewheel' on a topic and basically get upwards of several thousand words an hour is something I can utilise without a second thought.

    That being said as mentioned above you need to be aware of 2 things: First off you will need to baby sit it in the learning stages while it builds up your user profile and learns how you pronounce words etc. This means inevitably there will be some times where you need to edit the document created. I manually edit as I go through a document if its important and recheck every paragraph after a document is created.

    Secondly I think it would pay to invest in a 'good' headset because the quality of the mic will definitely have an impact on how well you get along with DNS. I upgraded from a cheap mic during the testing stages and never looked back, it pays off in quick time.

    I have a british accent and with a bit of training I dont feel DNS will be a problem unless you have a very thick accent. You need to pronounce everything clearly. If anything DNS has helped me by not falling into slang and actually clearly pronouncing my sentences, so it works to improve your overall verbiage.

    In short DNS is a big time saver once you get it all set up and the best thing is it keeps learning so the more you use it the better it gets. I am now at the stage where I find myself doing much less by way of editing since it seems to understand me very well. Its also still quite cool seeing a stream of my speech actually being converted into words in real time on the screen.....now I just need more thoughts to put down in words ;-) Good luck whatever you decide to do!
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  • Profile picture of the author AlphaRosa
    I use DNS and it's fantastic. Like everyone said it does take some time. I have a bit of an accent being from the Northeast US, but it works fine and learns as you go. I am able to put out copy and write papers/documents, much fast than typing.
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  • Profile picture of the author monkeyofstick
    My experience with it sucked.
    I am a recovering stroke patient that went out and purchased the original model.
    I tried and tried but it was a huge waste of time and money for me.
    That was back in 2000.
    I wish you the best,but if you have anything other than a plain American accent(I
    am from the south),then I am sure you will feel ripped off to.
    At least the price is down to half what they ripped me off for.
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  • Profile picture of the author CyberSEO
    Here is one of my little SEO secrets... I'm using speach-to-text software to generate unique content. Why pay for articles if you can generate them for free?
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  • Profile picture of the author Roy Bretton
    I would give Dragon Naturally speaking a try, once you get used to the system and the more you use it, the easier it becomes. I use it on my laptop, the only problem that I have found is that if your computer is updating or the hard disc is doing something, it does not respond properly, although I think this could be down to my laptop getting older, possibly!
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  • Profile picture of the author Tricerra
    I am finding more and more lately that I am using DNS to get through the initial development of an article very quickly. I then expand the article to nearly 200% view so that it fills the screen with just a few lines of text.

    I then go through the text letter by letter reading out loud, Let me say that again, OUT LOUD. By reading it out loud you can hear how it sounds and whether it actually makes sense.

    Final editing is by done by reading backwards word by word. It takes some practice but you mind will actually edit your work very quickly and you will pick up spelling and grammar mistakes very fast.

    David
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    The number of ideas to use in content is odd--and 3 is too many.--Timo Everi

    Content to Copy--AdWords to E-Books www.tricerra.com

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    • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
      Having just spent beaucoodles on a new computer, I decided to give the Windows Voice to Text app in Window 7 a try, before spending the dollars on DNS.

      I just started last night, and so far I have been pleasantly surprised. I had used DNS way back when (maybe version 8 or 9?, I don't remember) and already, the Windows app is doing much better than that primitive version of DNS. It also offers the option to train the software.

      I decided to try Windows first after reading a review on Amazon where the reviewer did better with Windows.

      I expect that it is very much an individual thing and depends on many factors, including, of course, the speaker's accent, but it made sense to try the free option first and get a feel for it. ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Rien
    DNS is a great program. I had a few issues when I switched
    computers though.

    My old 32-bit Dell worked great with the older DNS program.
    I was able to use the microphone that came with the program
    and was very pleased with it.

    I upgraded a year later and got a new computer that was
    running Windows 7. I had to purchase the 64-bit version and
    bought DNS 10.0. Immediately I had issues using the headphone
    and mic combo that came with it.

    I kept getting errors with the set-up. It seems the headphone and
    mic combo that came with the program were not good enough, at
    least on the newer version.

    I ended up using a Plantronics USB headset to set things up. The
    dictation from that point was spot on, much like the older version
    that I used.

    DNS works great if you know the subject matter, but can be a pain
    if you don't.

    Overall I am a big fan of DNS, and am sure you can see from the
    amount of replies to your original post that many others are as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author jannatus
    Mac or PC version seem to have good reviews, but I attempted the iPhone App version, and not accurate at this stage.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anthony
    I tried this tool and didn't like it.

    It is not a perfect tool. I have to manually go back and do the editing each time Dragon spell it wrongly. After awhile, I am better off writing myself. Maybe my voice and pronunciation does not go down well with Dragon and you might have better luck than me.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I have DNS and it is handy to rest my hands. I have severe neck pain and sometimes it is so bad that DNS proves to be a lifesaver. But you do need to edit it more than if you simply wrote something. IT does take training but it really boils down to whether you want to use it or just type.
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    • Profile picture of the author satrap
      Originally Posted by Yogini View Post

      I bought it a few weeks ago (ver 11.5) and I really like it. I haven't tried to correct it and it seems to work pretty well. There are some errors so I do go over it manually, but it saves so much time. I am using the headset that came with it. There are some oddities. Whenever I say the word "minutes" , it seems to always abbreviate it as min. I think it takes adjusting to think faster than usual. I am used to thinking at the pace of my typing, but now that it types faster, I can increase the speed.

      By the way, if you get it at 59.00 from compusa (tigerdirect) you can then lose the 20.00 rebate coupon online so it ends up being only 39.00.

      Debbie
      Thank you for the rebate coupon suggestion Debbie.


      Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post

      I use a Plantronics CS60-USB wireless microphone. It
      gives me great sound quality and I can "dictate" from
      just about anywhere within 100' of my laptop.

      John
      Thanks for sharing your experience John. I'll keep it in mind.


      Originally Posted by RylanClayne View Post

      I use DNS every day and I have to say it really is a time saver. The freedom to just 'freewheel' on a topic and basically get upwards of several thousand words an hour is something I can utilise without a second thought.

      That being said as mentioned above you need to be aware of 2 things: First off you will need to baby sit it in the learning stages while it builds up your user profile and learns how you pronounce words etc. This means inevitably there will be some times where you need to edit the document created. I manually edit as I go through a document if its important and recheck every paragraph after a document is created.

      Secondly I think it would pay to invest in a 'good' headset because the quality of the mic will definitely have an impact on how well you get along with DNS. I upgraded from a cheap mic during the testing stages and never looked back, it pays off in quick time.

      I have a british accent and with a bit of training I dont feel DNS will be a problem unless you have a very thick accent. You need to pronounce everything clearly. If anything DNS has helped me by not falling into slang and actually clearly pronouncing my sentences, so it works to improve your overall verbiage.

      In short DNS is a big time saver once you get it all set up and the best thing is it keeps learning so the more you use it the better it gets. I am now at the stage where I find myself doing much less by way of editing since it seems to understand me very well. Its also still quite cool seeing a stream of my speech actually being converted into words in real time on the screen.....now I just need more thoughts to put down in words ;-) Good luck whatever you decide to do!
      Yeah, I guess training is the main thing.

      I don't believe I have a very thick accent, but then nobody thinks they have a thick accent, lol. But, according to my girlfriend who is an American, my accent is barley even traceable. So, I think I'll be ok in that front.


      Any way, thank you all for your feedback and sharing your experience.
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  • Profile picture of the author StephenJJackson
    The message below was sent to a WF member 'by me' that was having a problem trying to speak normally in DNS. I thought I would share it in case someone else was having the same problem.
    ---
    Dragon software is very unique in the sense that if you can talk, it will work for you. The problem is not with the thought process, but rather finding it difficult to talk and watch our words appear on screen. Training is not a problem because it's simply using the pre-installed training programs to accomplish this.

    However, once you have the software up and running, sometimes you will find it difficult actually talking through a complete article. If you do, it's not a matter of training the software; it's a matter of training yourself. To train yourself effectively, you will need to practice talking with your headset on. First, think of a story you would like to tell.

    Something you can talk about for hours. Maybe something that happened in your past that you can talk about for at least 500 to 800 words. First do it while looking at the screen (don't worry about mistakes), then do it with your back to your screen. Each time you do it, ask yourself which felt better. Looking at the screen, or when you had your back to it.

    Once you have decided which is better (normally when you aren't looking at the screen) you can then begin to work on the finer points 'i.e. vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation'. Take your time because you will eventually train yourself to be a pro. Training it in this way will make a difference.

    If you are interested in more information about dragon software, post your replies here, and I will try and provide some insight.

    I also have other posts on the WF about DNS, so you can search those out as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ghoster
    It's useful if you put the time into training it.

    But really, if you practice typing enough you can type faster than it can dictate.
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    On the whole, you get what you pay for.

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    • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
      Banned
      I use Dictate, the Mac version of DNS. I have had carpal tunnel surgery on both wrists and I also never learned how to type without looking at the keyboard. I love this software.

      Just an FYI for you Mac users. This functionality is built into OSX under your preference pane for 'Dictation and Speech.' If you only need the basics, it works very well.

      Cheers. - Frank
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    • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Ghoster View Post

      But really, if you practice typing enough you can type faster than it can dictate.
      If you practice extensively and snort meth, possibly.

      Cheers. - Frank
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        ha ha - frank got caught. Old thread - bumped by someone not bright enough to get his spam link to work
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        • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

          ha ha - frank got caught. Old thread - bumped by someone not bright enough to get his spam link to work
          I'm mortified. The Hawaiian Kona had not fully kicked-in, yet. lol

          Mea culpa.

          Cheers. - Frank
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