Newby questions about dictation in SDL Trados

Hello everyone,

I am both a Mac user and a Studio 2017 user and I am considering moving to dictation to reduce strain on my body, but I have many doubts.

I have tried to enable my Mac dictation feature and, while I find it satisfactory in the Mac environment, results in the virtual machine (whether inside SDL Studio or outside, for instance in Microsoft Word) were really disappointing. However, I am using old Mac hardware/software (Mac OS X 10.11), so things may be much better if I had newer versions.

I have a bunch of questions about the whole dictation thing, whether on Mac or Windows:

- Can a translator using dictation (be it Mac Dictation or Dragon Naturally Speaking) dictate the text only or can dictation be used also to implement full Studio commands, for instance open and edit Project Settings, insert tags, use ribbon commands, etc.?

- Does dictation work well with AutoSuggest just like typing? I'd like to leverage it just as much as I do now.

- Not sure if the best solution would be to buy a new expensive iMac and use its built-in dictation feature for use on Studio running on VMware Fusion, or to accept the idea of buying a much cheaper Windows computer (which one?) plus DNS for use with Studio. I have been a happy Mac user for almost a decade now and I don't feel much like going back to Windows, but I am not sure either solution would be hassle-free. My goal is to drastically reduce typing.

Do you have any suggestions about all this?

  • Hi Daniela,

    I guess you have your answers by now, but I am going to reply anyway 

    FYI, I am a PC / Windows user, and I own a license of Dragon Professional Individual 14.

    1. Dragon will work only for dictating text, or you will need to use Dragon’s Dictation Box (a module for non-compatible programs) to use commands such as correcting / adding / selecting text. I suggest you look for other threads of this board and you will see that it is also possible to create custom Dragon commands for Studio.

    2. I am using FastKeys instead of AutoSuggest, but it’s basically the same. When you dictate, you need to pronounce the whole word or sentence, so this feature becomes useless during dictation. However, you can still use it as soon as you use your keyboard (even with Dragon / the mic on).

    3. As a PC/windows user, I can only advise you on the cheap Windows computer alternative. I would suggest one of these two options:

    -Getting a cheap used desktop PC. There are MANY options available. In this case, I’d go for an old Dell OptiPlex desktop PC or something similar. Either get something decent right away or upgrade it yourself if you can (CPU, RAM, SSD). The second option is of course cheaper, but requires more patience.

    -Getting a cheap used laptop. The best options (especially if you are located in the US) are Lenovo’s ThinkPads. These laptops are built like war tanks (T series and other series as well), they are ultra modular and offer an excellent serviceability. Many are available for very cheap in the US. Spare parts are widely available too. Grab yourself a ThinkPad with at least a 3rd generation Intel Core i5 or i7 to have decent performance. Look for "dankpads" and you will find a lot more info about these. Anyway, it is difficult to find a better price/performance ratio (apart from special deals, etc.).

    Overall, when you are on a budget, you will always get better performance with older (not too old though) high-end hardware than with entry-level new hardware.