Voice recognition software

August 28, 2009, 11:51 AM posted in General Discussion

Hey,I was just wondering if anyone knows whether there is voice recognition software for Chinese,and if so what it's like,cost,availability ,etc ?.I have never actually used this in English as I haven't had the need but I have been aware of it being available for sometime [eg dragon naturally speaking..don't even know if that's a good brand but it's one I've heard of].I remember when I first heard of it I think they said it was only about 90% accurate so by the time you went and fixed up it's mistakes you hadn't really saved much time.Still,I think these things improve with time.I imagine with so many homophones that it may be more difficult to develop.I'm wondering if it is available if it is a defacto way of checking your diction in Chinese.

On another tangent,I have also seen a programme in German where you can speak and it will record and analyse your pronunciation.This is never a substitution for feedback from a native speaker and real life practice ,but I think it could be a good tool if the programme was good enough.I wonder if one day this will be available on CPod.I think it would be a big undertaking,but I could envisage it happening in the future.It could start out with just the vocab words from new lessons.

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August 28, 2009, 01:02 PM

Hi bababardwan

I don't know if this soft is good, but at least it seems to be well known.


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November 17, 2009, 09:59 AM

I just tried out the voice recognition lessons at Qooco(www.qoocochinese.com).  A few bumps, but it seems pretty accurate so far.  Nice to be able to speak at least.  They also have some tone recognition stuff, which offers some cool visual feedback.  Only tried the free stuff so far.

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August 28, 2009, 01:35 PM

Let's get bababardwan buy one and see how it works. 你觉得怎么样?

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August 28, 2009, 01:59 PM

The same question was asked in 2006 on chinese-forums :


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August 28, 2009, 02:49 PM

Thanks kimiik.It'd be nice to get some updates on that.There was a good reminder there.This did ring a bell:

"To use the speech-recognition function in Office XP, regional settings should be set to the appropriate language. Then, under the Tools menu, choose the Speech option. All that is required beyond that is a microphone -- Microsoft recommends one that is high-quality and close-talk."

..anyone used that? I have Office 2007 but never used it much and not sure where the tools menu is in Word.It all changed from the old Office.

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August 28, 2009, 03:35 PM

Ok,found out why the option was greyed out from help:

"Speech recognition features are not available in the 2007 Microsoft Office system programs.

To use speech recognition features, run Windows Speech Recognition in Windows Vista. For information, see the links in the See Also section."


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August 28, 2009, 01:32 PM

Hi bababardwan and Changye,

How could a voice recognition software work sentence by sentence or word by word for an ambiguous language needing context (several words or sentences) to be understood well ?

I guess it may use a very limited lexicon.


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August 28, 2009, 05:22 PM


I bought a new desktop probably more than twenty years ago when speech recognition was pretty cool.  My kids were young and I remember we played with it for hours.  You could type and it would talk to you (in an American accent but you could choose man or woman) and you could speak into the microphone and it would type what you said, more or less.  From memory it worked surprisingly well but I guess the fun lasted less than a week.  There were ambitious promises at the time that you could soon just stand at your desk (because you think better standing up) and dictate everything, but we're still waiting for that.  It'd be a challenge for a machine to interpret my Chinese; today I asked for butter at the supermarket and the assistant handed me yoghurt (they are not even that close.)    

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September 05, 2009, 02:15 PM

糟糕,After successfully using voice recognition to dictate in English:

Talking to the computer is very easy.  I like learning to speak Chinese.  I wonder if I will be able to do this in Chinese.  I really hope so.


[ok,so I was just rambling there..and the tutorial obviously had me brainwashed with the first line...but it worked fine]

..I came across this info re trying to do it in Chinese:

"Windows Speech Recognition is available only when the language of the operating system matches the language of Windows Speech Recognition. In Windows Vista Ultimate, you can change the language of the operating system by installing a language pack from Windows Update. If you install the language pack of a supported Windows Speech Recognition language, you can then use Windows Speech Recognition for that language if that is also the language of the operating system."

...on this microsoft help site:


I don't have ultimate and even if I did I think I would make such a switch with some trepidation.What do others think of switching the operating system to Chinese? Anyone tried?

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September 05, 2009, 02:57 PM

baba, I've never tried on a computer.  But I did it to my cell phone a while back.  Whew, that was a nightmare.  If you do it, I'd first write down the pathway on your computer to get back to where you can change it to English again :)

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September 07, 2009, 12:32 AM


Thanks for that mate.Yeah,I thought doing it on the computer operating system could quickly become a nightmare for all but the native speaker [or at least highly fluent second language learner].Noting down the pathway is a good tip,but I think I'm going to drop this line of approach.I wonder if windows 7 will address it better? How about macs..do they have this speech recognition? Certainly I get the macbooks voice prompting me when I ignore something;it'd be nice to be able to talk back.

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August 28, 2009, 03:57 PM

I've never worked with Chinese speech recognition software.  However, a former employer had me try out a Spanish version once.  It was like Google Translate, only less accurate.