Itamar Even-Zohar

Versión en español

Even-Zohar’s page on speech recognition:




Dictating in a Different Language

1. Installing a language pack

If you want to dictate in a different language (than the one already installed) you have to install first the language pack for that language. This option is available only in Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows Enterprise, or Windows 7 Ultimate.


Language packs can be downloaded and installed as “updates” via the “Update Windows” feature. If a language pack has been properly installed, it will show as an option in the Control Panel under “Keyboards and Languages” à “Choose a display language.” There are currently (June 2007) language packs with speech recognition for English (US and UK), Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.

2. Switching to a different language (and back)

You can select any one of the following methods for SR working in more than one language:


2.1. Changing the display language. Change the display language of your computer (through Control Panel à Keyboards and Languages à Choose a display language), and then log off and log on again.  There is no need to create a separate speech recognition profile. Switch back to the first language by changing the display language again.


2.2. Creating computer users. Create a user for each language and change the display language for that user to the language of your preference. A new Speech profile will be automatically created for that user. Switch between your languages by the normal procedure of “switching to another user” (Log offà Switch users).

Note: You can create a speech recognition profile for each user with any name you prefer. Change the name, or create a new user, in the Advanced Speech panel.


COMMENTS. From the point of view of the time it takes to switch to another user there seems to be no real difference between the above two methods. It is only a matter of convenience. The advantage of the Separate Users method is that you can switch back and forth without changing any computer defaults. The disadvantages are that it takes more disk space and more attention must be given to user management, and that you may not have access to files opened or saved by your other users unless you know how to give yourself such an access via the new permission dialogues of Windows Vista or Windows 7.


2.3. Dictating in a Different Variety of English.  If you wish to dictate in a variety of the English language other than the one you have selected during installation, you must change the LOCATION of your computer, for example from a U.S. location to a UK location. You will find LOCATION under Control PanelàRegional and Language Options.


3. Problems

The change of interface (display language) may generate several problems.  For example, if you dictate in Microsoft Word in English and you have switched to dictating in Spanish but you have not purchased the Spanish interface for Office, you may encounter several problems of a minor nature.  For example, you won’t be able to insert a period at the end of your sentences unless you eliminate the icon for opening a file from the toolbar.  For some reason, when the Spanish module hears the word “punto,” it opens the dialogue for finding and opening a file on your computer instead of inserting a period. Also, Right Mouse Button menus may also open in a different language to the one currently loaded.