Thursday, June 26, 2008

Proofreading your translation

To proofread my translated text, I thought of using a utility that would read out the text to me. I tried out various freeware utilities some time ago but they all came with Microsoft voices such as Microsoft Sam. Well, frankly they were too 'computerish' for me and I gave up.

I had purchased Dragon Naturally Speaking more than a year ago, but never did find the time to train it with my voice. I suddenly wondered whether it did have some tool to read out text. I was overjoyed when I read the Help file!

This is what it had to say:

"You can use text-to-speech to have text on your screen read aloud in a computer voice. "

"Using text-to-speech can free your eyes for other tasks. For example, you could have a document you dictated read back while you listen for mistakes and sections you may want to revise."

"Text-to-speech will read back specific parts of the document. You can specify a line, paragraph, selection, the complete document, or the whole screen to be read back to you. You can also specify that text-to-speech reads from the top of the window to the insertion point or from the insertion point to the bottom of the window."

I launched Dragon Naturally Speaking pulled down the Sound menu, I found Read That. The voice too was more natural than the ones that came with freeware utilities. I had it read out text that I had just translated and I liked it. I had found a now proofing tool hidden in the dark recesses of my PC!

I found that Dragon Naturally Speaking also has a transcription tool - you feed an audio file and it transcribes for you. I should try this out next time.

Have a great day!


Anonymous said...


I tried SaysMe, a free text-to-speech utility, a few days ago and the voices sound quite natural. You should give it a try.

Anonymous said...

Nicolas, thanks for posting this. The voice certainly is much better than I expected. Good find!