Teaching Dragon to speak C++


I finally graduated! So, to bide my time while I’m waiting for a job, I have decided to teach myself C++. I bought Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days and downloaded Dev C++ from Simtel. I know I can’t do much with it; I just want to know roughly how it works. Problem is, I thought, that even with the Maltron I wouldn’t have the stamina in my hand for it. Enter the Dragon…


I’m now very glad I sprang for the Preferred version of Dragon 9.5. This version allows you to create text macros, which you insert by saying the command you assigned to that text. I did not know that computer code could be pronounced, although I knew it was considered language. The trick to dictating code is to tweak the pronunciation into something Dragon can understand. You will have to create commands for each bit of code (can I call them words?) you want to use. For example: std::cout is pronounced, according to the book, as “STD see out.” So, if you want to be able to dictate that into your compiler:


  • Tools on Dragon menu

  • Add new command

  • Say “S. T. D. see out” as the command name (without quotes). Always treat individual letters like initials, and Dragon will have no problem with them.

  • Put the same thing as the description, if you want.

  • For the content, simply spell std::cout

  • Save command

  • Repeat for new “words”


Sometimes, instead of treating everything like an initial, you can invent another word as long as you train it. For example, when I created the command for int main() I actually added another vocabulary word called “int,” and pronounced it as such. That way, when I put in the command name I could use “int main” instead of “I. N. T. main.” Saying “int main” is much simpler.


I should add, also, that Dev C++ works very well with Dragon. I can dictate the code into there directly without having to use Word or something as a buffer. The only thing I can’t do is access the menus by natural language — that is, to execute or compile a code I have to say “press Control F9” instead of just “execute” or “compile.” But that’s no big deal. You do also have to be careful how things get spaced when you dictate; every once in a while you have to insert the spaces yourself because I think Dragon treats it like something in Spell mode. But on the whole, it’s excellent. I’m looking forward to learning more as I go along — I will need the distraction!


Note: I have heard that there are projects being developed specifically for dictating code itself, without having to jigger with the pronunciation or making new commands, but I haven’t seen any. This looks like it will work well for the interim. If you have used any specifically code oriented speech recognition program, I’d love to hear about it.

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