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Dragon voice recognition V15 Home or Professional?
Thread poster: tuffinh
Jan 29

Hi, I would like to hear opinions on Dragon's latest Home or Professional Version 15 voice recognition software. I don't know which to purchase, and the price difference is large. I mainly work with Studio 2017, but also with memoQ and Lionbridge's Translation Workspace. I suffer from repetitive strain and need to try something new! Thanks very much.

 
Mac Jan 29

I don't know if you use a Mac but if you do, MacDictation comes free as an integrated part of the operating system and it's better than Dragon.

Like you I used to suffer from RSI but since I started using Dictation, not only has that problem gone away; I also make far fewer typing errors and my translation speed has become much faster.

One thing is very important, no matter what system you use: a very good microphone. At the beginning I tried several cheap ones and got
... See more
I don't know if you use a Mac but if you do, MacDictation comes free as an integrated part of the operating system and it's better than Dragon.

Like you I used to suffer from RSI but since I started using Dictation, not only has that problem gone away; I also make far fewer typing errors and my translation speed has become much faster.

One thing is very important, no matter what system you use: a very good microphone. At the beginning I tried several cheap ones and got poor results. So you'll need to factor in the cost of a high quality directional microphone that you can wear over your ear, such as this one:

https://www.plantronics.com/gb/en/product/blackwire-435




[Edited at 2019-01-29 13:29 GMT]
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A serious issue Jan 29

tuffinh wrote:
Hi, I would like to hear opinions on Dragon's latest Home or Professional Version 15 voice recognition software. I don't know which to purchase, and the price difference is large.

If your work involves generating text, and if you become unable to type, you will eventually starve. You can't afford to waste time, so I suggest you transition to voice recognition as soon as you can.

In late 2016 my hands, wrists and one shoulder were getting so uncomfortable there were times when I could not type. I had a battery of tests done, but the hospitals could find no obvious damage to nerves or musculature. Eventually I bit the bullet - I was not worried about the money but about how long it would take to incorporate into my workflow - and bought Dragon Professional Individual v15. It costs $300.

I use Dragon for hours every day. I keep my hands on the keyboard, but try to use my fingers as little as possible. Editing I do mostly with the keyboard, but when "writing" I use Dragon. It needs some discipline as it is easy to slip back into normal typing. Within a couple of months I no longer had hand, arm or shoulder pain. I suggest you buy via download from Knowbrainer. They know their stuff, and can also advise on microphones, macros and so on.

I have never seen a review by a magazine or credible review site that says Apple's native tools are even as good as those of Dragon, let alone better. Google and decide for yourself, if you have a Mac.

Regards,
Dan


tuffinh
neilmac
 
tuffinh
TOPIC STARTER
No Mac Jan 29

Thanks for the recommendation. Btw I don't have a Mac.

 
You have just seen one from me Jan 29

Dan Lucas wrote:

I have never seen a review by a magazine or credible review site that says Apple's native tools are even as good as those of Dragon, let alone better.


You've just seen one from me. Presumably you think it isn't credible.


 
https://www.nuanceonlinestore.com/nuance-solutions/dragon-compare.html Jan 29

Indeed, without specifications it's but a guesswork.

Besides an anti-RSI keyboard, a student-typist, and trying a MS built-in (prepaid) Text-to-Speech first, one should mind the latest Dragon is rather resource-hungry and requires better audio, that's why users with older hardware should consider older versions or other options.

Of course, buying a Mac just for a Casper legacy (dictation) is but overkill, especially when one forgot to check offline mode via "Use enha
... See more
Indeed, without specifications it's but a guesswork.

Besides an anti-RSI keyboard, a student-typist, and trying a MS built-in (prepaid) Text-to-Speech first, one should mind the latest Dragon is rather resource-hungry and requires better audio, that's why users with older hardware should consider older versions or other options.

Of course, buying a Mac just for a Casper legacy (dictation) is but overkill, especially when one forgot to check offline mode via "Use enhanced dictation" to prevent data leakage and possible NDA issues, not to mention working at public places.

Frankly, I could consider Dragon for some European languages, but as far as--after almost 30 years!--it still can't do Russian, it's pretty worthless for me. After some training, El Captain was doing better, yet still I mostly work as an interpreter--and in a noisy environment or late at night.


P.S. Tom, I trust your good intentions, but it's not a testimony or verifiable source--there should be at least a few different sources. Therefore it is just a subjective opinion. However, it would be nice to see a detailed analysis taken apart)

[Edited at 2019-01-29 18:38 GMT]
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tuffinh
 
Main difference Jan 30

tuffinh wrote:

Hi, I would like to hear opinions on Dragon's latest Home or Professional Version 15 voice recognition software. I don't know which to purchase, and the price difference is large.


The main difference is that the Professional version will allow you to create your own commands, so in addition to dictating, you can control your CAT tools with the right commands. You may wonder if that's worth the price difference, and, at least for me, it is, but of course each individual user must decide whether this is right for them.

Here are a few resources you may find helpful to get a feel for the capabilities of the Professional version:

https://noradiaz.blogspot.com/2016/04/dragon-professional-individual-14-and.html

http://noradiaz.blogspot.com/2016/04/a-beginners-guide-to-creating-custom.html

https://www.sdltrados.com/video/beyond-dictation-how-to-control-studio-by-voice-with-dragon-naturally-speaking/111200/

https://www.sdl.com/event/language/webinars/01-2018/increase-your-translation-speed-in-2018-with-voice-recognition-software.html


These are all about Dragon Professional Individual + Studio, my main CAT tool, but the same principle applies to any other CAT tool or environment, and actually any other piece of software.


Dan Lucas
tuffinh
 
Dragon vs. MacDictate and microphones Jan 30

I don't know if you use a Mac but if you do, MacDictation comes free as an integrated part of the operating system and it's better than Dragon.

I don't think a one-dimensional comparison is possible. For example, one system may be much better than the other on general texts, but much worse on specialised ones. Not sure about MacDictation, but an important feature of Dragon is its huge vocabulary. In particular, I saw Dragon flawlessly recognise dozens of prescription drug names, and it wasn't even the dedicated medical version of Dragon.

One thing is very important, no matter what system you use: a very good microphone. At the beginning I tried several cheap ones and got poor results. So you'll need to factor in the cost of a high quality directional microphone that you can wear over your ear.

Not exactly true. The most important factor affecting the recognition quality is room reverberation, and a directional microphone is a way to compensate an unfavourable reverberation pattern. Another way is to use a so-called far field processing algorithm, which is now avaliable in Dragon (though you may need to switch it on explicitly) and brings a substantial improvement. The two are mutually complementary, but the best way to improve recognition quality is to dictate in the settings with as little echo as possible, which can be achieved either by a lot of sound absorbing material (e.g. foam, pillows, etc.) around you, or, conversely, by having a wide open space with no walls near you. From a purely theoretical viewpoint, there are also exotic arrangements akin to the stealth technology in aircraft, where the surfaces do reflect the sound of your voice, but reflect it away from you.


tuffinh
 
Example of Dragon output Feb 5

I have just been using Dragon to translate a published research paper, so I am not bound by confidentiality obligations and can give a good example of its capabilities. I used the built-in microphone in my notebook, speaking about 50 cm away from it. The following text was transcribed without a single error:

Capsaicin activates the nociceptors, causing a burning sensation, an erythema and an elevated sensitivity to other stimuli. Conversely, after multiple applications these rece
... See more
I have just been using Dragon to translate a published research paper, so I am not bound by confidentiality obligations and can give a good example of its capabilities. I used the built-in microphone in my notebook, speaking about 50 cm away from it. The following text was transcribed without a single error:

Capsaicin activates the nociceptors, causing a burning sensation, an erythema and an elevated sensitivity to other stimuli. Conversely, after multiple applications these receptors are desensitised and the transmission of pain signals is suppressed. The exact mechanism of desensitisation is unknown but is assumed to be mediated by enzymatic changes in sensory terminals at high concentrations of intracellular calcium. It also has to do with a disruption of retrograde transport of neurotrophic factors (such as NGF – Neuronal Growth Factor) as one of the mechanisms for reduction of hyper-excitability and premature depletion of nociceptive terminals in the epidermis.

No fancy microphone and virtually no dictionary training (never really got around to doing that). Impressive, huh?

[Edited at 2019-02-05 01:21 GMT]
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tuffinh
neilmac
 
Dragon "normal" Feb 7

I've been using Dragon for years, and like Dan, found it really helped with back, shoulder and wrist pain. I'm not sure what my version is, but it's not the professional one, which is the most expensive. I think it's either Home or Premium, but it doesn't stipulate on the icon.
PS: Comparisons between Mac and Windows applications are a waste of time in my opinion. It's like arguing over apples and oranges.


 


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