I have tried on a couple of occasions to use the speech recognition program, MacSpeech Dictate. In fact, I am writing this blog entry using the program.

While my typing skills are okay (30-40wpm), I would like to use MacSpeech Dictate to alleviate some of the typing I have to do throughout the day.

When you first consider using a program like this, you almost think that speaking your words is a lot easier than writing them out. But that is not the case. While it is easy to speak words and see them typed out in less than a second, being able to dictate coherent thoughts is the most difficult challenge. When you write by hand or when you‘re typing you have time to reflect and think about what you want to say before you write it. The same thing happens with dictating words, but is much harder to do so. Somehow it seems that you need to have your thoughts completely developed before you start speaking, otherwise the flow of your words might not be that good.

However, I do keep trying to come back and use this program because one of the things that it definitely requires is lots of practice. I think I need to practice with it consistently for at least three or four weeks in order to effectively write using the dictation method.  I have tried using the program a few times in the past, but I become discouraged and impatient with the problems and challenges of dictating my thoughts and learning how to control the program at the same time.

Also, I’ve found that MacSpeech Dictate does not work very well in other text programs such as Safari, Pages ‘09, or even Apple’s Mail. It works with 90% accuracy in Notebook—the program’s installed text editor. So this time around, I’m going to try to spend the next three weeks practicing word dictation on a daily basis. I figure it will like learning to type all over again.

I would say that dictating your thoughts is not as fast typing or writing then, but it does alleviate the demands of physical typing. So we’ll see, over the next two weeks how far I get. I will also at lease try to dictate most of my blog entries and forum comments on other websites. Let’s see how it goes.

(Note: I did have to go back and edit what I just dictate above. The editing wasn’t different from the editing I do if I were manually typing.)

3 thoughts on “

  1. Philip Blair says:

    You’re right. Dictation is not as easy as it seems. In many case a few short lessons can correct set up or technique errors and allow users to achieve near 100% accuracy. It doesn’t necessarily help forming your thoughts, but helps with some of the mechanics.

    I applaud your persistence and optimism as well as you writing style.

  2. George says:

    Bakari, you are so right. Dictation is tricky since you have to first process your thoughts before the words can flow. Thanks for your great articles and writing. George

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