Dragon NaturallySpeaking vs Google Docs
Published November 14, 2017
My goal was to perform an unscientific experiment to test the transcription accuracy of both Google Docs and Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I wanted to see if the expensive Dragon NaturallySpeaking was more accurate than the free Google Doc’s Voice Typing feature.
How I Performed the Transcription Experiment
Here is a listing of the equipment I used for dictation to perform the comparison:
I then dictated a passage from an old blog post that consisted of a heading and two short paragraphs. While dictating I used instructions like “new paragraph” and of course I dictated all of the necessary punctuation. It was a simple and straight-forward dictation.
Once completed I saved the dictation as a .mp3 file and emailed it from the Moto G to my email account so I could access it from my computer. From there I opened it and first used Google Docs to transcribe the dictation. Afterward, I had Dragon NaturallySpeaking transcribe the same file. The results are shown below (click on the image to enlarge):
Reviewing the Transcription Results
With one incorrect word, Google Docs appears to have understood the words I dictated better than NaturallySpeaking. Aside from misinterpreting my “new paragraph” command in the beginning, the biggest problem with Docs is it tends to be Cap happy. It has a tendency to capitalize words unnecessarily.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking, on the other hand, was able to understand my paragraph commands but had several errors in transcribing my words. Twice it wrote “with them” instead of wisdom. And, the “Russian Mark” instead of question mark is a big blunder.
If All Things Were Equal
If all things were equal (and they are not), I would probably say the results were six of one and a half dozen of the other. However, all things were not equal. Here’s where the inequities come in:Let’s talk Dragon first:
When you consider the less than equal playing field, I’d have to say that Google Docs is the clear winner in this competition because it’s free and versatile. Having said that, I’m too well invested in NaturallySpeaking to give it up.
But Dragon NaturallySpeaking has Other Features
What this little experiment didn’t address, however, are the other Dragon features. Dragon (Amazon affiliate link) is a robust software and does much more than just transcribe dictation. With the software properly trained, you could pretty much operate a computer hands-free. Google Docs won’t do that, but it wasn’t created to do that.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a small, rather unscientific test. I did this because I dictate many of my articles and wanted to use the program that required the least amount of editing. As it stands now, I’ll probably use both. Google Docs is so portable that I can use it anywhere. However, when I’m home and have access to NaturallySpeaking, I’ll continue to use it. After all, I’ve already shelled out the cash to own it. Might as well get my money’s worth.
Felicia (aka Low Tech Grandma) is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance writer and low-tech blogger.
Last Modified: 20 June 2023
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