Using Dragon dictation is not easy. But as I get better at it I should be able to make good use of it without typing. I think after teaching the Dragon dictation a few times, I can notice the improvement in my speech especially my pronunciation.
It is amazing to see how technology has improved in the past 20 years. I tried DragonDictate when I was much younger. Using pirated software of course. There was back then when I cannot afford the software. In fact during that time it is a common thing to do to buy pirated software from Imbi Plaza. I always thought that buying software from that place is considered original. But I guess I was wrong. I think that story will be in another post.
Back then when I was using this software, it was so difficult and I decided after a couple of hours using it that the software is useless. Perhaps the software wasn’t that bad, it was my speech after all. I think after using the software for the last 10 hours, I realised that the software is very good at my speech is very poor. And the more I use it, the more I realise that my spoken English is extremely poor. I know that speaking in proper English is not easy. As a non-native speaker, I tend to use different words that is best for the Malaysians culture. Example:LAH.
During my younger days, I don’t get a proper speech training. And I never did have a speech training. I continue to speak the way that I speak because that is the way that I speak. In Malaysia, people tend to speak the way that they want to speak. I know that I am not very good at speaking, especially when I am put in front of a native speaker. I noticed that my confidence level when speaking just drop to 0 whenever I speak to a native speaker. I hope with the use of this software, I will be able to have a much higher confidence level when speaking to a native speaker.
The problem of confidence level is all related to 2 things:
- the way that I speak
- the knowledge of the topic
I think the way that I speak is something I can improve, but the knowledge itself is something that I need to continue to build along the way. I need to focus on getting myself acquainted with the new knowledge that will help me to speak better with my colleagues or native speaker. Then again, this is for another post of course.
I think the key to having a proper conversation with a native speaker, is to do the right preparation for any of the conversation that I will help. In my line of work, I do have a lot of conference calls. And the key of having a successful conference call is to prepare. I notice that if I prepare for the conference call, I usually will be able to speak better and communicate the message clearer.
It is something that I need to continue to improve especially on how I organise my days. The key on preparation is to set time to prepare. Most of the time in my mind I think that I am a Superman and will be able to think 30 seconds before the call. I have been caught way too many times for not being prepared for the call. Example for today, I do have a call with a highly educated PhD holder that since in my firm’s innovation Council. I have not prepared for the call, in fact I have not even set up a time for me to prepare for the call.
The call will be at 7 PM. Therefore I should set up some time about 15 minutes before the call or sometime much earlier. The key is to block my time for preparation. I notice that if I block my time, I will be much better prepare for the call.
In this dictation, I noticed that I am not able to pronounce the word call properly. I keep on getting court instead of having call. It is definitely because of the way that I pronounce the word call. What I noticed is that I don’t twist my tongue when I pronounce the word call. This is definitely because of my laziness in pronouncing the word. I guess I need to be able to continue to use the software in order to continuously fix my pronunciation.
Dictation is not a very difficult thing to do. The key is perseverance. I need to continue to train the software so that it can work with me. I know that in the marketing brochure, DragonDictate says that the software has deep learning technology that will be able to learn the way that I speak. but the thing is, it will not be able to really understand me if I don’t train the software properly. My understanding of deep learning is that it will continue to take the feedback that I give it to the software and then make sure that it does not repeat the same mistakes over and over. Hence I need to continuously look at the correction window and make sure that all corrections are made. I know it is tedious, but this is just for the initial phase of training software.
In the past 10 hours, the software can now understand me more than what it is in the first five minutes of using a software. It is because it is learnt the way that I speak on the way to pronounce the words. But, if if I don’t change the way that I pronounce the words, the software can continuously be confused with the things that I speak. Therefore I need to continuously teach the software. Hopefully it will be better as I move on with this software.
I am committed to use the software for at least the next 30 days because after 30 days I will not be able to ask for a refund. The main goal as I mentioned before in my previous post is to be able to transcribe my Digital recorder recordings.
I know that I want to post more of my thoughts online, but the pain of typing the post is just painful. I have a lot of time in my car while driving to work. Therefore instead of making useless phone calls having useless conversations, I can record myself and do the blog post. At the end of the day I can copy the audio file to my Mac and let the software transcribed the post. I am quite sure by doing this I will be able to get much longer post, and perhaps more useful posts.
I have been doing this dictation for the last two hours. It is quite addictive I must say. Having to see how the software learn how I speak, is just amazing. In fact, I don’t get much corrections now. Probably in one paragraph, I may have one correction. I think the key is really to be able to pronounce the words. And what’s annoying to me when writing this post is that need to always say the punctuation symbols. It is pretty annoying and it does stop my train of thoughts. In fact in this initial phase, I need to continuously look at the words that the software dictate. This is even more time-consuming compared to typing my posts.
But it’s okay, it is just for the initial phase in which I need to teach the software how to understand my pronunciation properly. I have a lot of expectations for this software in the future and I hope that I will not need to look at their pronunciation or rather dictation there was made by the software every time after I speak a sentence. It is probably a practice that I need to do as I continue to use the software. I wondered if I can train the software when I do my editing. In which our highlight certain words and then change the word and then the software will pick up and fix the recognition.
What I notice is that are by using speech recognition, I write much longer posts because I tend to have a lot of thoughts in my mind but too lazy to type in the software. I guess maybe it’s just an initial phase where I wanted to test out to make sure that the software can really understand.
What will be interesting is whether I need to speak louder than usual. Because it is actually quite tiring especially during fasting month. But I guess with the right microphone I don’t really need to speak very loud. In fact the mic and I’m using now is actually quite good. It is the built in mic on a MacBook Pro.
In this paragraph I didn’t even speak very loud. I just let the microphone to capture by voice projection from about 3 feet away. It is actually quite good. In fact it seems that and to speak in natural language, slightly slower than usual, but in a clear manner.
I think I can really use the software, I just need to use it properly. It is amazing to see the advancement of technology in the past 20 years. I’m really impressed the software now.
I think it is enough for now and I hope I will be able to continue to teach this software a lot more as I progress with my day. I would be able to teach during the daytime because I’ve been busy working in the office. I actually use DragonDictate for my work laptop because I don’t think you should mix work and pleasure
The thing is I will look weird if People see me speaking to the laptop dictating the emails that I want to reply. in fact I think for quick emails, it is probably easier to type.
Okay then, this is a second posting on DragonDictate for today. It is a very long post because I’m taking this opportunity to teach the software how to understand myself. I also need to stop using the word “full stop” as it is very difficult to speak two words just have a “.”. I can always use the word “period”. In addition to that I can also replace the word “choose” with the word “pick”. I think the word “pick” is much better than word “choose”. it is much faster to pronounce that word.
I guess as I get better and handling the software, I will be able to write more efficiently. But just more efficient, but much longer as well. It is definitely a habitual thing that I need to build along the way. As I continue to build the habit of dictating, I will definitely be able to write much longer posts than usual. The thing in my mind now is whether I would be able to speak much faster in comparison to how I speak now while training in the initial phase. I do hope that the software will be able to take much faster speech. But I guess is whether I can speak faster with proper pronunciation. It is very hard to get my part to move left and right, up and down to speak faster. It is just very difficult.
Maybe it is about me using very simple English for my blog post. Pronouncing very difficult words as tough. But I guess sometimes is not about having difficult words, even simple words have complex pronunciation. Example is “difficult”. I need a somewhat pronounced a silent “T”. I guess I will get used to speaking properly as I move on with this journey. It is definitely a long journey but I need to start somewhere if I want to get to my destination stop the destination is that far, but as any other customer experience that I pledge to my clients, it is about having that real-time feedback and fixing the quirks and the issues as we go on with it. I cannot stop now because if I stop now it means that I am a failure. I am not afraid, I am a person that is hungry for success. I would need to push myself to go on with the journey. Because it is important to go through with this journey so that I will be able to reach my destination soon. I know that I keep repeating myself over and over again but sometimes by repeating myself, I be able to put the thoughts in my mind.
This is probably my longest post in my blog. The reason being is that I cannot stop talking to the software. There are so many things in my mind that I wanted to share on this blog, but I don’t get to share because I can’t be bothered express myself through typing. I know that this is somewhat very screwed up but I guess it is what it is for now.
I think when I start migrating over by Mr recorder, my post will be extremely long as I span like 30 minutes in the car every day to work and back from work. Imagine the amount of information and thoughts I can share through this blog post. But I guess it is what it is now, that is for today. Maybe our share my thoughts more later today to my Digital recorder were driving to work.
Thank you very much for reading this far, it is definitely a bloodied use less Post but I guess it is fun to speak what in my mind.