Speech recognition is the process of converting a speech signal to a sequence of words, by means of algorithms implemented as a computer program. Speech is the most natural form of human communication. Speech is the major way of communication among human beings. Through speech man can communicate naturally and effectively. Speech recognition is a field of computer science that deals with designing computer systems that recognize spoken words. This paper presents the basic idea of speech recognition, types of speech recognition, different application areas and different approaches for recognizing the speech of the different speaker.