How I use dictation to write this blog

22. september, 2012 — 2 Comments

speech to text in danish

I used to neglect my blog a lot. But then I found another way to create these blog posts. I dictate them to my iPhone. This allows me to write blog posts almost everywhere. And dictation is actually quite fast.

Right now for instance I'm sitting in my garden in a deck chair. I am watching my kids jumping on a trampoline and slowly dictating this article and enjoying the nice weather. It's so nice to be able to use my eyes for something else while I think and talk to my phone.

I find that I get more done this way. Dictating an article seems a lot less like work. It's more relaxed. Sometimes I end up doing three articles in a single day.

Using dictation on your iPhone

If you're not using an english keyboard on your iPhone, you may not have noticed this feature. To be able to dictate text to your mac, you have to switch on an additional keyboard... the english one.

Now you get a little microphone icon next to your space key. Press this and start talking. Press done, and your iPhone will convert it into text.

And it seems much easier than using Siri. Siri and me... well, let's just say, that she has a hard time understanding my needs. But dictation on my iPhone works wonders.

dictation on iphone in writeroom

I can add punctuation, ask for a "new paragraph" and useful stuff like that.

Getting the spoken word into WordPress

I dictate into Writeroom on iOS. The notes from this app gets synced through Dropbox, and ends up on nvAlt on my Mac.

Now and then, when I have a handful of articles, I'll put them into WordPress. I do this a bunch at a time. I add drawings or pictures and slight corrections. Nothing ambitious, I write for my own sake.

Then I use the scheduler in WordPress to make the articles appear on the site in with a frequency of a maximum of three articles a week, so as not to spam readers RSS feeds.

And that's it!

No danish though

I have looked around for Danish solutions. But they are either very old-fashioned or not working very well, or Windows only (he admitted grudgingly) and, of course, expensive!

But in my new Mountain Lion I could be doing this all the time in english, via the built-in version by double-tapping FN. Or with a pro tool like Dragon Dictate.

So being a native Danish speaker now feels like a hindrance when working with the computer.

And guess what. Danish researchers says the same thing: That smaller languages like danish are endangered  by the digital development.

I certainly feel that way. A vast amount of innovation in the computing field is done in the voice control area. It's okay that I need to do stuff like "play songs by Depeche Mode," on my iPhone. No problem... But when you don't get new writing tools, that could help your creative process... I foresee problems in the long run for the smaller languages. Perhaps it will soon be like the many languages without a writing system, they just dwindle slowly.

A strong speech to text engine in danish, would also be able to make the vast amounts of spoken word radio on the national danish broadcasting company webpage available through search. What a vast cultural treasure, that would suddenly be available!

Here's some links

Jens Poder

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2 responses to How I use dictation to write this blog

  1. Inspiret by your article I tried the app Dragon Dictation, and it seems to work in danish. It can even make punctuations.

  2. Hmmm. Are you talking about the dragon dictation app for iPhone?

    I have had huge problems getting consistent mileage out of that one. It seems more like a toy to me.

    Here's my test text in danish:

    Det her er en test af Kvækerne gik til Asien til iPhone. Jeg håber at det virker engang i fremtiden.

    Det er nok lidt fordi at jeg tænker mig meget over, og Oscar. nyt afsnit men det er vel også et spørgsmål om manglende Carsten, hvordan man har lyst til at blive behandlet Andersen.

    Strange how it puts names into the text all over (Andersen, Oscar, Carsten). And I can tell you, that this wasn't what I talked about at all.

    But perhaps this free app is Nuances way to build a Danish set of words on their servers, by getting a lot of input and free test users.

    I hope so!

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