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In the past few weeks we’ve been meeting with many Immigration firms. One piece of software that we have seen do very well is SpeechTrans. SpeechTrans gives you the ability to translate speech on the fly between two people using their mobile app (iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile). It supports 30 languages and receives constant updates for new language packs. With this software you can essentially carry on a conversation with someone speaking another language. It’s really futuristic, it’s crazy to think that we finally have this technology with such accuracy. You speak into your phone after hitting your language icon and it automatically translates and speaks what you said in the other language. You can then do this for the other person and the phone will speak back to you in English. The accuracy actually amazed me the most. The one issue I had was with the Windows version, but that was because of my mic. The speech recognition was not 100% accurate where as on my iPhone, recognition was spot on. SpeechTrans uses the same translation software on both platforms, Windows & iPhone. Logically, the only deciding factor was the mic on my desktop which is sub-par. Make sure you have a decent mic.

In addition to their translation app, they have an app that translates photos. Lets say your looking for a building or an address in Chinatown. With this app, all you need to do is take a photo of words on a building, and it will translate all the lettering and numbers found in your photo to your native language. Aside from work use, this also has a lot of great uses when it comes to traveling. On vacation, this application not only enables you to find places of interest in foreign travel guides, but it also allows you to speak to the natives in their language.

This is useful to lawyers who often speak with non-english speaking clients. While it is good enough to rely on others who speak other languages to translate for you, this app gives you the power and the accuracy to do this yourself. Like I said, the accuracy is amazing and you can’t beat the speed. On top of this, within their desktop application they also offer an equally accurate dictation application. It’s very simple to use, simply click the microphone icon and your words turn into text within the SpeechTrans app. When your done, copy and paste the dictated text into Word, Outlook or any other application. You can dictate your billing notes and even dictate contracts. The best part is that unlike Dragon, there is no learning curve, and there is no training. Simply click on the man or woman icon, and start dictating your notes.

Dragon Vs. SpeechTrans

In the end, the Apple dictation app is $5 while the desktop app is $50/user/year. A small price to pay to translate 30 languages on the fly and be able to dictate your notes without the time investment it takes to train Dragon Naturally Speaking. I actually spoke to Yan Auerbach, COO of SpeechTrans and asked him a few questions. Dragon makes it’s users train for hours in an attempt to get accurate dictation samples. My question for Yan was, how is it that SpeechTrans does not need the same training Dragon does, especially since SpeechTrans is a Nuance partner (Nuance owns Dragon). He explained that Dragon’s desktop app uses the user’s voice through training to improve accuracy, while the SpeechTrans technology uses crowdsourced voice dictations to eliminate the need for training. Yan also explained that SpeechTrans uses cloud technologies with over 4 million speech samples for each language; that’s 4 million different people per language, 4 million different pitches & voices to improve initial accuracy. The best of all is that it keeps improving over time, pretty impressive.¬†When compared the 1 sample that Dragon has to offer, there is no contest when it comes to accuracy. Historically, the problem we’ve had in dealing with attorneys who wish to use dictation software has always been the software training involved. No one wants to spend the extra time to train software, and frankly, most people don’t understand why they even need to go through the process. With this solution, you will no longer need to train your software to recognize your voice, case closed. As far as user interface, Dragon wins, but only because SpeechTrans is still in it’s infancy. They are constantly working to update their software, this is a company to watch. If your an Immigration attorney I would say that your phone should not go without this app. Even if your an attorney specializing in other types of law, this will help when speaking with people outside the country may they be clients, contacts or anyone for that matter. For a $5 app, SpeechTrans offers a lot of value to it’s users. You simply can’t beat the accuracy and speed of the translations, especially with the convenience of a mobile device. Give it a try.

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