Session LT-11 at ATA 2012
Presenter: Andrew D. Levine and Thomas Ennis Fennell
Reviewed by: Rubén de la Fuente
I have never used speech-to-text tools for translation work, so I was very eager to attend the Dancing with a Dragon session by Andrew Levine and Tom Ennis Fennel. They put up a good show, not only because they share interesting stuff, but also because they are funny. Here are a few highlights from their presentation:
- Dragon integrates well with CAT tools (better with Deja-Vu and MemoQ than with Trados Studio, though). So you can work on your CAT tool as usual, and dictate translation for no matches instead of typing. Mind you, it’s very resource-consuming, so shut down unneeded apps & browser tabs.
- Besides dictating, you can use Dragon to run commands (built-in or customized) with your voice, e.g. «skip segment», «select X». You can also create shortcuts (3 or more syllable long ideally) for very long product or organization names, e.g. Treasury will be extended to Russian National Treasury.
- Dragon is very accurate. Andrew read a story from the front page of a local newspaper. No errors at all, in spite of him trying to throw in one or two on purpose, for demonstration purposes.
- Dragon allows to increase productivity to 1000-2000 translated (unedited) words/hour. Productivity will vary depending on language combination, e.g. Russian into English is slower than French into English, due to huge differences in syntax between RU and EN.
- Productivity increases will translate into tens of thousands of increased revenue yearly. I was impressed with the level of detail in these guys’ numbers: they knew how much they were making at the minute level. A good exercise of business intelligence everybody should try to do.
- Finally, using speech-to-text is better for your health, as it will prevent or alleviate RSI injuries caused by typing. You don’t need to be sitting all the time either. You can stand and stretch while dictating. It will surely be good for your back.
Very interesting presentation, which left me wanting to purchase Dragon right away. Tom and Andrew recommended to start with the premium version, since the professional version should be reserved for very geeky translators. Geeky is good :).
Rubén R. de la Fuente has a BA in translation and interpreting from the University of Granada. He has over 10 years of experience in localization in various capacities, including as a freelance and in-house translator, reviewer, project manager, and machine translation specialist. He is currently taking a graduate course on computational linguistics. He has taught several courses and workshops about translation tools for the Universidad Alfonso X and organizations such as the Institute of Localisation Professionals, ProZ, and ecpdwebinars.co.uk. He has written articles on translation tools for ATA’s Language Technology Division. You can reach Rubén at firstname.lastname@example.org.