Oops: Are all recognition bloopers Dragon’s fault?

Dicto van januari

This may not come as a total surprise to you, but Dragon does not actually transcribe everything you say without mistakes. If only!

Even if 97% of all the words you dictate is written down correctly, you will get a recognition error about every 30 words.

This text is about 350 words long, so it would be quite normal to see around 10 recognition errors in the text. [and before you judge that as quite a lot… how many times would you need the backspace key to correct a typo in a similar length text?]

When I am paying attention to my dictation, I can sometimes get more than 97% recognition rate. However, much of the time I am slightly distracted by either the content that I am creating, or something else. Personally, I can see this has an impact on how many errors I make. If you are not aware of the impact that your distraction has on Dragon’s results, you may be tempted to blame it on the beast, but that is not always fair to Dragon.

Funny or phony?

Sometimes these errors are funny and, like I said, mostly they are caused by me not pronouncing the words as clearly as I could have. For example, in the previous sentence I said “funny”. Dragon wrote down “phony”.

It happens to all of us. When I paid more attention to the pronunciation and said the word “funny” again, Dragon wrote it down correctly. But the longer I am dictating, the sloppier my dictation tends to become. And of course, English is not my native language, so that means my pronunciation is off the mark sometimes.

You made this … WHERE??!!

Other times, Dragon simply doesn’t know words and in that case it simply cannot write it down correctly.

This morning I was dictating about a video that I was creating in my video editing software: Camtasia. And I intended to write down the following:

“I made this in Camtasia.”

Dragon wrote down: “I made this in camp Asia.” REALLY?!

So what happens, is that Dragon searches for words that ‘sound like’ what you said and it will transcribe these words. As you will have noticed from the above example, Dragon has no opinion about whether the words actually makes sense :-).

So, what’s the verdict?

Yes, sometimes Dragon mangles a recognition without any particular reason that I can discover. But in general: No, definitely not all Dragon’s mistakes are the speech recognition’s fault.

Dragon needs a good sound sample to make correct decisions. If I am sloppy in my pronounciation, I get poor results. If Dragon doesn’t have a certain word in it’s vocabulary, it can’t write it down, even if I pronounce it beautifully.

Likewise, a poor quality microphone or background noises can interfere with performance.

If you keep that in mind, you’ll get better results and less frustration. But you’re guaranteed to still get the occasional blooper, I’m afraid 😄

Share your blooper if you like

Feel free to share your funny recognition errors below in the comments.

And don’t forget that you can join the LearnSpeechRecognition Academy if you don’t find Dragon’s recognition errors at all amusing. I’ve got your back if you want to reduce the bloopers to a minimum!

Janneke den Draak

Janneke den Draak

Hi, I'm Janneke and I'm your go-to person for Dragon and Apple speech recognition software help.

When I got severe repetitive strain injury issues over 20 years ago, I didn't want to give up using the computer. So I learned all about controlling the PC with speech recognition and dictating my documents and emails.

I've now been a speech recognition software trainer and consultant for almost two decades, teaching over 2000 people handsfree productivity!

My online courses for Apple Voice Control and Dragon offer self-paced learning and I also love running my membership for Dragon users. For those in need of an intensive training or custom speech command creation, I am available for one-on-one calls.

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