Dictating is forcing me to separate my languages. When I used to type, I didn’t have to be aware of which language I was using. I would have three or four chat windows open, some in English, some in French. In the same time, I would be writing something in French, maybe coding some PHP or HTML, and replying to an e-mail in English. Of course, I would be switching from one window to another pretty often. Yes, I multitask.
With Dragon, I have a separate user for French and for English. This means that when I want to dictate something in the “other” language, I need to change users. This takes about a minute. If you are writing a text in English and chatting in French with somebody at the same time, this is way too long. I therefore tend to stay “stuck” in one language.
To make the situation a little more interesting, my operating system is in English. Windows programs use MSAA to allow people using speech recognition software to activate menu items by simply saying them (amongst other things). When my French user is active, the interaction with my operating system is somewhat crippled (the “boss your computer around by voice” part).
When you are trying to use your computer hands-free, a required step is to make some custom commands for your Dragon. Kim’s Macros are a really useful set of custom commands in English. Some of them need to be adapted to your personal system, others are usable “as is”. However, a lot more work is needed if you want to use these custom commands in French. When I tweak a macro or write a new one in one language, it will not automatically be updated in the other language. My users tend to drift out of sync. It takes time and energy to keep their capabilities similar.
This accounts to some extent for the big chunks of French you have been seeing here lately.