How to Convert Recorded Speech From Voice to Text

By Michael Davidson

Converting recorded speech to text format takes some time and effort.
i series object on white - audio cassette image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from

Transcription is a very important skill in many endeavors and businesses. Converting speech to text can be done automatically or manually, but either way, speed and accuracy are of vital importance. Manual transcription is a skill that court reporters and administrative assistants use on a day-to-day basis and it requires significant practice and experience to master effectively. Transcription programs are sometimes useful, but it depends greatly on the clarity of the original voice source, since a program will not interpret dialects or low voice quality as effectively as the human ear can. Either way, converting recorded speech to text requires patience.


Play the recording and type out the words that are spoken as best you can into a word processing program on a computer. You may need to stop the recording from time to time to catch up. If you are not good at typing yourself, see if a friend can do the typing for you.

Run a spell check on the transcription after you've finished typing to find and correct any errors.

Play the recording back, and read along with the speech. Correct any mistakes that you find as you go through to ensure accuracy.


Download voice recognition software. Wave to Text is a program that offers a limited version of its software free-of-charge that transcribes voice to text. Dragon NaturallySpeaking is another program boasting a 99 percent accuracy rate when converting speech to text.

Install the program on your system.

Activate the software, and play the recording into a microphone so the software can pick it up. The software will then convert what it "hears" into text that you can go back and edit as needed.