There are a lot of searches that find this blog using the phrases “speech to text” and “text to speech” or equivalents using words like “voice”, “speaking”, “typing”, and so on. It seems from the logs, that a lot of people aren’t sure what the difference is between “speech to text” and “text to speech” so I thought I’d clarify.
“Text to speech” is where the computer speaks. The computer can speak anything and it’s still text to speech – it could speak what you’re typing, announce the time, speak some pre-typed words from a file, read a book to you, speak the colour visible to the camera, let you navigate the computer without vision with the VoiceOver screen reader, or anything else you can imagine.
“Speech to text” is where the person speaks and (hopefully) the computer can understand the speech. The computer, depending on the program and the context, might treat your speech as dictation and convert it to actual text (as with most of Dragon Dictate) or it might treat your speech as a command and perform the action you requested (as with iDevice Voice Control commands and most of Siri‘s functions).
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