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How do I measure my dictation accuracy?

Many Dragon NaturallySpeaking users choose to use the Rainbow Passage printed below to measure their accuracy. They use this because it contains all the phonemes in the English language. What is a phoneme? A phoneme is the smallest contrastive unit in the sound system of a languageThis is how you would do it.

  1. Copy the Rainbow passage into a new Word document and save it on your PC.
  2. With Dragon running, whenever you want to check your accuracy, say “open Microsoft Word”
  3. Say “File”, then “Open” and then open your Rainbow Passage Word file
  4. Either print it out for reference or have it on screen to refer to
  5. Then just dictate the passage speaking clearly and steadily
  6. Using the Word highlighting tool, colour highlight the mistaken words (A)
  7. Then count the total words in the original Rainbow Passage text  – “Tools”, “word count” (B)
  8. Calculate percentage accuracy as follows:-% accuracy = (B – A)/B x 100%

It’s a good idea to check your accuracy from time to time to confirm that Dragon is better able to recognise your dictation as time goes on.

The Rainbow Passage

When sunlight strikes raindrops in the air, they act like a prism and form a rainbow. The rainbow is a division of white light into many beautiful colors. These take the shape of a long round arch, with its path high above, and its two ends apparently beyond the horizon. There is, according to legend, a boiling pot of gold at one end. People look, but no one ever finds it. When a man looks for something beyond his reach, his friends say he is looking for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Throughout the centuries men have explained the rainbow in various ways. Some have accepted it as a miracle without physical explanation. To the Hebrews it was a token that there would be no more universal floods. The Greeks used to imagine that it was a sign from the gods to foretell war or heavy rain. The Norse men consider the rainbow as a bridge over which the gods passed from Earth to their home in the sky. Other men have tried to explain the phenomena physically. Aristotle thought that the rainbow was caused by a reflection of the sun’s rays by the rain. Since then physicists have found that it is not reflection, but refraction by the raindrops which causes the rainbow. Many complicated ideas about the rainbow have been formed. The difference in the rainbow depends considerably upon the size of the water drops, and the width of the colored band increases as the size of the drops increases. The actual primary rainbow observed is said to be the effect of super position of a number of bows. If the red of the second bow falls upon green of the first, the result is to give a bow with an abnormally wide yellow band, since red and green lights when mixed formed yellow. This is a very common type of bow, one showing mainly red and yellow, with little or no green or blue.

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