Talk, Don’t Type!

I've been trying out something new today and I want to take the time to tell you about it. I've started dictating.

In fact, I dictating right now. I'm using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I've heard that this is meant to give huge productivity gains by speaking instead of typing. So how am I finding it?

Not bad!

Honestly, there's a bit of a learning curve. I have to pronounce my words pretty well to get good input. It might be my British accent. That said, I did about 30 minutes of training reading several chapters of Alice in Wonderland, which was quite fun as I've always enjoyed reading that book, but you didn't know quite when the reading would end. But my first few tries with the software weren't all that impressive. It kept missing short words out. Things are slowly getting better, but I would still say I'm changing a word in every other sentence. Sometimes more than one word. Because of the way that Dragon NaturallySpeaking works, it tries to group words together, so if it is going to get one word wrong, it will probably get two or three.

I'm persevering. I have high hopes that the software. I've seen Jason Fladlien dictate an article in seven minutes, so I know it's possible (in fact, I've seen him dictate an article in much less time than that). Can you guess which word in the last sentence I just had to spell out? I don't think I'm quite ready to write my next novel yet ( okay I admit it's my first novel).

I do think it's worth trying and it makes a good change to typing at a keyboard all the time. But will I be there for the long haul? I guess that's a question for a future blog post.

The dictation ends.

Do you dictate? Why not leave a reply below?

12 replies on “Talk, Don’t Type!”

What has intrigued me about this idea of using voice recognition technology is that does it take into consideration of accents? I read that you're from Britain much like me, and we don't seem to speak as clearly as americans.

I believe that the British speak much more clearly and frankly better then us Americans. 🙂
As for dictation, I am very interested in it. As much as I love typing talking is so much easier. I will have to try out Dragon sooner or later.

Hi Matt,
I think the reason I beleive Americans talk more clearly than us Bristish is probably the fact that our TV is still more American program dominated. I believe that the TV shows we see daily are more americanized that people actually believe. Especially TV channels like MTV which are mostly all american programs.

I agree. 
But I think this is one way of saying that we really are finding ways to make it easier though the sense of it is very nice but nothing compared if we do it manually (typing)
You are right as well even Americans just like me have difficulty using this and ends up me editing it again though it makes our life easier.
Great review

Well i dont see anything wrong about the two its only an option for us. So we have the choice to choose whether we type or we used advanced Dragon Naturally Speaking.
Like what other people said it has its advantage and disadvantage.

Haha, I wrote a simialr article on my blog recently! I use Macspeech Dictate, the Mac version of Dragon, and made by the same company.
I found the first day was frustrating, but after I did a few extra recognition lessons the software gets near 95% accuracy, which is much better then the mistakes I make when typing.
The problem I had to overcome however, is that I think whilst I write and when speaking, it just feels unnatural. The secret is to keep trying, and eventually you learn to talk into the microphone as if you were talking to a friend and suddenly the words begin to flow and make sense.
I'm still on the learning curve but getting there, and certainly very happy to have discovered this technique.
And in response to some of the comment above, Macspeech does ask for your accent. You choose from American, Australian, British and Indian !

I get reasonable accuracy now, but I still find that the amount of time it takes me to go back and edit afterwards and pick up some of the 'silly' mistakes, I can just as well type in the same time. Editing live is a big mistake, as it just throws your train of thought too much. But, it's nice to be able to alternate between typing and talking, and probably better for your long term health.


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