Like many people, I have an iPhone, and I carry it with me everywhere, stroking it lovingly and calling it my precious in a guttural Gollum-like voice. The other day I downloaded a program called Dragon Dictation, which promises to transcribe spoken text by uploading it to its servers for quick processing. I have to say, the app works great, and I was able to get nearly 100% accuracy almost immediately. My wife asked me to let her try, but due to her Japanese accent, the results were, well, different. The text I’d used as a base was:
Cafe Verona. Rich, romantic and well-balanced, with the dark cocoa texture and roasted sweetness.
But despite her best efforts, pronouncing the words slowly and carefully, the program returned text like this:
LMAO my rates become not romantic and well-balanced come up with tobacco cool exterior and roasting meat.
Of course, the program wasn’t designed to parse non-standard accents of English, and it does its job very passably with native speakers. I felt kind of sorry for my wife — although she can use English without any problem when in the States, the program couldn’t transcribe her words properly at all.
The Dragon Dictation system is great, unless you have a strong accent.