How to Choose Language with Dragon Speech Recognition
Written by Matt Hartley
Allow me to share a funny story with you. A happening that perfectly demonstrates the nuances of the English language.
It was a normal day for me, I was training a client who works for the council. This particular client uses Dragon with a digital voice recorder to provide a quicker and more efficient way to produce her reports on the move.
We refer to this process as back-end speech recognition. In a nutshell, it allows Dragon to act as a personal secretary and type up recorded notes for you, ready to review.
I’m used to seeing great levels of success with this workflow, especially considering Dragon’s 99% accuracy. However, on this occasion, the user found that Dragon was struggling to achieve much more than 50% accuracy.
She had a classic BBC voice and a clear and consistent dictation style, hence why I was left scratching my head at the results the technology was generating.
Dragon United States English
As you can see in this example I put together, selecting the incorrect language generated multiple errors. Those words highlighted red below indicate a word that Dragon incorrectly transcribed.
Dragon United Kingdom English
Comparatively, if Dragon is set to the correct language, there are no errors at all. The software picked up and transcribed every word correctly.
Eventually, I decided to conduct a little investigation. I checked the microphone – Fine. Then I did an audio check – No improvement.
It then occurred to me that the criteria of the problem fitted that of a problem with the language setting. I found out that the selected language was, in fact, the problem, after checking the client’s Dragon profile, the settings in particular.
When setting up a Dragon profile, it takes you through various steps – Your details, and voice enrollment to name a few. Furthermore, the software also prompts you to select a language.
I quickly learned that this client had accidentally selected American English rather than UK English. Although seemingly trivial, this minor slip has dramatic effects on how the technology performs.
Dragon speech-to-text comes with various language packs for each language and their subsequent regions. For example, under the English language alone there are various sub-options such as Indian accented English and Standard English.
Within each option comes different spellings, pronunciations, and nuances. To that end, the United States mode would print American spellings, i.e. customized and realized.
As a result, it was no surprise to me that our client was experiencing low accuracy. With a well-spoken English accent, she sounds nothing like an American, hence why the software was having trouble understanding her.
To summarise, the moral of the story is: Make sure you select the right language when setting up your Dragon – And double-check again!
Needless to say, the client installed and set up her software independently. If you put your trust in our team to install and set up your profile, then this problem will be avoided. You can avoid multiple errors and save time by accepting the help of our technical team.
To show you how to select the right language when setting up your profile, we have created this short video…