Dragon NaturallySpeaking: Dictation actually works!
As you probably know, I am writing quite a bit of stuff. Since I am in fact not a very fast typer, writing takes a lot of time. So two weeks ago I decided to give Dragon NaturallySpeaking
a try. In case you'd haven't heard about the product: it is voice-recognition/dictation software. It promises that you can dictate basically everything to your computer and have your computer transcribe it.
So I got a trial version from the German distributor
(who is also named Voelter :-)) and gave it a try over the last couple of days.
I have to say this stuff works really well. I am using it in German and English, and I have written a number of papers and articles with it. Although sometimes it makes mistakes, it generally works really well and makes me quite a bit more productive. A nice feature is, that it can scan your existing writings to learn new words including technical terms. So after of doing that, and training the system for a couple of minutes, you can dictate whole paragraphs without much manual correction. Of course you have to pronounce clearly ( I actually have to try to speak Hochdeutsch when I dictate German :-)) but you don't have to speak especially slow.
If you look around the Internet you will find that there are various different versions of Dragon. I am using the Professional version. The biggest difference to the cheaper versions is that it can keep track of and remember a much bigger vocabulary, so I guess if you want to write technical articles using Dragon you have to bite the bullet and buy the somewhat more expensive version. For me it will have paid for itself after a couple of technical papers and articles.
So if you're a writer I suggest you give it a try!