Another Useless Post on DragonDictate

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.

Speech Therapy: Using Voice Recognition Software #1

I was recently purchased a voice recognition software called Dragon dictate. It costs US$300. I must say it is very expensive, but the reason why I spend this amount of money is to be able to write my post off-line using a digital recorder.

What I realised is, that it is very difficult to use a voice recognition software if I don’t speak properly in the right pronunciation grammar. I know that with the Malaysian accent, it is extremely difficult for the software to recognise my voice. But I also know that the software will continue to learn as I correct the dictation. the decision to need to make is whether to continue to correct my dictation or fix my speech. I think, the combination of both will be ideal. Pronunciation is something that will take time to change. I always rushed through my pronunciation. Example: the Silent B in the word combination. My typical way of pronouncing the word combination is “comination”. and there are many more examples that I probably wouldn’t know.

I guess I should take this as a speech fixing therapy, and hope that by continuing to use the software I will be able to speak better English. I notice that my speech and my mouth doesn’t really synced. I don’t prove my voice out when I speak. I can to close my mouth when I speak. And the result of this is that, I don’t get proper pronunciation with the words that I say. I need to really fix my speech because I think that is a lot of value in a speaking clearly.

Speaking clearly is very important for my job. If I do speak clearly, it will project a different personality to my future clients and bosses. I think even after less than 12 hours using the software, I am already speaking better. I think if I continue to use it for the next 10 days-I will be amazed at the result. In fact I will compare the recordings of my speech last week to my future recordings next week.

As I continue the journey with the voice recognition software, I will continue to post some blog notes so that I can share the painful journey that I am experiencing. I know it is very tough but if I continue to persevere I will be able to enjoy the technology. Hopefully in the near future I will be able to write this post using a digital recorder, and transcribed using the software when I’m back home.

So day one, it has been an interesting journey discovering that my English language is poor. I hope that in the next 30 days I will be able to improve my English in pronunciation and grammar.

Till tomorrow, we shall see whether I get better with my English language. I hope that I will get better.

Day 84 – Going Well

This morning when I wake up I went straight to the scale and measured myself. The weight has gone down even further since yesterday. It is amazing to see how fast my weight has gone down since yesterday.

In fact it seems that the target we for myself, is already reached this morning. I am not particularly sure what extra have I done yesterday that resulted me to lose more weight this morning. I know that I have fasted the whole day and had very little for dinner. I guess the combination of running in the morning and the diet itself causes me to lose more weight yesterday.

And it will continue to have a more healthy diet was versus limiting myself from eating properly because it is detrimental to the overall scheme of things. It is extremely important for me to make sure that the way that I loose weight is the healthiest way possible. If I don’t eat properly what happens is that I won’t be able to have a sustainable weight loss. Which is where I had problems in the past.

I need to continue to rediscover myself and see what I have done wrong in the past. It is not easy to be honest, the costs sometimes we are clouded by the short-term results that we see. We will always need to look at the future and always strive for long-term solution for very difficult problems. Short-term solution our awesome, but the problem is it is not sustainable. It may even cause detrimental effect to the long-term goals. This will be easier to have very small meaningful gains versus trying to have a fast short and fast results.

Today I will continue to go to the gym and make sure that I set out because it is not just for weight loss but it is also for the mental health. I feel a lot better when I go to the gym in the morning. It is amazing that the impact that sweat has this to the mental health. I think if I continue to do this I would definitely reach my goals and 365 days.

The strategy for today is to eat healthy and make sure that I have the right to exercise. The exercise will not be a weight lifting or weight-bearing type of exercise but it will be focused towards cardio. The reason being is that I am trying to bring up by cardiovascular capacity as I am trying to build stamina for riding a motorcycle.

The weightlifting exercises will start next week after the holidays. I will start back again the program that I had stopped couple of weeks ago. I know that it is important for me to do weightlifting exercises but at this point of time the cardiovascular capacity will need to increase. I know if I push hard enough I should be able to increase cardiovascular capacity and will be able to enjoy motorcycling more. At this point of time I do enjoy motorcycling but I am not sure if I am able to ride for hours and hours without stopping.

In the past, I can ride for eight hours and don’t even feel tired. But now, even after four hours as if I ride for the whole day. But it’s okay there are the motivation that I have to lose weight now. Some of the motivations are,

1) health

2) enjoy motorcycle riding

3) buy a new jacket

4) replace the wardrobe

I shall continue this journey and will not stop until I reach my target. If I stop now, I don’t think I will ever start again. After reaching the age of 40, you do feel that you need a massive transformation in this new phase of life.

Note:

this will posting was done using a speech recognition software. There are quite a number of reasons why I wanted to use a speech recognition software, but it seems that I have discovered that there are quite a number of problems with the way that I speak. One of the problem is that I mumbled my words a lot. Which makes it very difficult for the software to recognise my voice. And if the software can even understand my voice, what more can people. In addition to mumbling my words, my spoken grammar is really bad. Because of technology that tries to predict the words based on typical grammar, when my grammar is really bad, it has difficulty in recognising the words to be used. I guess, using speech recognition software is like using or getting myself a speech therapy. I do find that I speak a lot better after just 18 hours with the software. I need to continue to train the software for the next 30 days, and then decide whether I want to continue to use the software or asked for refund. There is a 30 days moneyback guarantee with the purchase of a software. I need to make sure that I set a reminder before the end of the 30 days.

Day 82 Somewhat it works

Its amazing – for something that I did not really focus on but it works. I wonder if I actually push it will work even better. It has been almost 12 days since I last posted, and for what ever reason what I did or did not do managed to get me to lose weight back to almost where I first started before I fell down the bandwagon. Perhaps it is due to fasting month.

Now that I am back where I am, I need to continue to push on and work consciously on the things that I promised myself not to do. In fact – with Raya coming, it is going to be even more harder because all the good food that I can consume. I need to focus constantly on being on track. I know that I have not been persistent on the things that I should do with the principles I set out, but that is all behind. More importantly is the consistency. Consistency is the key. One thing for sure in the past 2 weeks is that I am very focus on making sure that I am don’t consume a lot of carbohydrates. There were few days on binging on sugar but that is not as often as before. The definition of binging is subjective but to me whenever I consume sugar outside of my cheat meal is considered binging. I should focus on not consuming sugar because sugar is bad for you. In fact sugar is the root of all evil!

This week is going to be fun, the last week for fasting. I need to continue to focus on building back my fitness health. I must say during fasting month I have not been diligent enough to workout, mostly due to the fact that I am so engrossed with the concept of Sahur that I don’t wake up early enough to go workout. Now that I have about 6 more days for fasting, need to make full use of it. Intermittent fasting has always work for me, so therefore I need to make full use of it.

All the way till end of June I will focus on building back my cardio health, and when it comes to July I will start back again my bodybuilding routine. I believe that building muscle mass is important in order to ensure the fat burns all the time. It is going to be painful. After a month of back and forth of not working out, the DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) going to be terribly painful. I suspect it will probably be 2 weeks before I get back to my routine. It does not matter, I know I need to push for this.

Last week I also picked up my new motorcycle. I did buy a R1200GS Adventure. My dream bike. It was quite an impulsive purchase but I will take it as an advance present for the achievement. Using a new bike, I need to get a new jacket and pants. My current jacket which I have used for more than 4 years is really in bad shape. Things are falling apart. I will need to focus on losing the fats that I have so that I can buy nice jacket 🙂 Ralleye perhaps!!

Anyway – that’s it for today. I will continue again tomorrow. I need to do this everyday. Posting to blog on my post will allow me to be connected to my project.

Day 70 Reboot… Recharge

It’s a restart after almost 4 weeks of falling off the bandwagon. The principles are the still the same in which:

  1. Consistency
  2. Cook in bulk
  3. Accept Failure and Move On
  4. Remove all Temptations
  5. Tell Everyone

In the past couple of weeks, I am just being an ass. I have no idea what was going in my mind. I just became a victim of my own doing. Not really a victim but more of a monster. I have refused to get into the journalling expect which is a key fundamental component of the project.

What is done is done, and now I need to move on. Cannot undo what that has been done, I can only look the future and push hard. And hard is what I am going to do.

It is more tricky now because it is fasting month. The same principle applies, no sugar… no carbs… (exception for oats). Clean eating is the way to go.

Exercise will need to start again. I think in the past couple of weeks, my workout has been less than 2 or 3 times weekly. I have no idea why I go down to this. Perhaps the injury that I got myself into killed my whole motivation. Perhaps, not sure, but I guess its reboot. Need to stop lying to myself.

This is a psychological warfare, time to push hard. Principle #3 – Accept Failure and Move On. And this is what I am going to do.

Till tomorrow.