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Posts Tagged ‘stenotype machine’

Court Scribes Explains What Those Court Reporters Are Typing On

Posted on: January 3rd, 2022 by Sfl Media No Comments

stenographerWhat’s that thing court reporters are always typing on? This is a question that CourtScribes gets asked all the time.

Well, that thing is called a stenotype machine. It’s also used for captioning television broadcasts as well. The stenotype works a bit like a portable word processor. It has a 22-button keyboard in place of the standard “qwerty” setup. The way modern stenotypes are set up, they have two rows of consonants across the middle, underneath a long “number bar.” Set in front are four vowel keys: “A,” “O,” “E,” and “U.”

How Does a Stenotype Work?

Court stenographers can type entire words all at once by striking multiple keys at the same time. This is a special skill that they have acquired. The left hand spells out the beginning of a syllable, while the right hand spells out the end. All keys are pressed at the same time, and the machine produces a word jumble that’s incomprehensible to anyone who’s not trained in (stenotype) machine shorthand.

Stenographers spell out syllables phonetically. But there aren’t enough keys on each side of the keyboard to cover every sound. Certain combinations of adjacent keys correspond to the missing consonants.

At court-reporting school, you learn one of at least half a dozen machine shorthand “theories,” which teach different approaches and general rules. Any experienced stenographer will work out his or her own abbreviations, especially for words and phrases particular to a given job.

In the old days, everything a stenographer typed would print to a roll of narrow paper tape. Later on, the stenographer would translate the notes back to English, and sometimes another stenographer would check the translation. Now the translation is done by computer. Fancier stenotype machines translate as they go. The paper tape still records the original notes, but an LCD display on the machine itself shows the words in regular English.

Almost all stenographers have their own customized machines. A brand-new, top-of-the-line stenotype costs up to about $4,500. Cheaper training models are a bit over $1,000.

In the last few years, more court reporters have begun to use less expensive technologies. A “verbatim” reporter holds a tiny microphone up close to his mouth and repeats everything he hears behind a mask and device that silences the sound of his voice. Voice-recognition software can translate the recording into printed text either after the fact or as the recording is made.

If you need court reporting services that handle digital recording then CourtScribes.com which supports all states and programs that aid in the court reporting world are ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

Although the majority of cities that offer CourtScribes’ services are in Florida, the company home base, other cities all across these United States that CourtScribes offers services in, are the following: Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, Port St. Lucie, Fort Lauderdale, Cape Coral, Coral Springs, Clearwater, Palm Bay, Fort Myers, Weston, Sarasota, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Hialeah, Stuart, Hollywood, Naples, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Jupiter, Key West, Coral Gables, Maryland, Manhattan, Buffalo, Washington DC, Baltimore, Bowie, Virginia, Frederick, Albany, New York, Brooklyn,  Westchester, Gaithersburg, and Rockville.

What are Those Court Reporters Typing On

Posted on: August 30th, 2021 by Sfl Media No Comments

stenographyWhat’s that thing court reporters are always typing on? This is a question that CourtScribes gets asked all the time.

Well, that thing is called a stenotype machine. It’s also used for captioning television broadcasts as well. The stenotype works a bit like a portable word processor. It has a 22-button keyboard in place of the standard “qwerty” setup. The way modern stenotypes are set up, they have two rows of consonants across the middle, underneath a long “number bar.” Set in front are four vowel keys: “A,” “O,” “E,” and “U.”

How Does a Stenotype Work?

Court stenographers can type entire words all at once by striking multiple keys at the same time. This is a special skill that they have acquired. The left hand spells out the beginning of a syllable, while the right hand spells out the end. All keys are pressed at the same time, and the machine produces a word jumble that’s incomprehensible to anyone who’s not trained in (stenotype) machine shorthand.

Stenographers spell out syllables phonetically. But there aren’t enough keys on each side of the keyboard to cover every sound. Certain combinations of adjacent keys correspond to the missing consonants.

At court-reporting school, you learn one of at least half a dozen machine shorthand “theories,” which teach different approaches and general rules. Any experienced stenographer will work out his or her own abbreviations, especially for words and phrases particular to a given job.

In the old days, everything a stenographer typed would print to a roll of narrow paper tape. Later on, the stenographer would translate the notes back to English, and sometimes another stenographer would check the translation. Now the translation is done by computer. Fancier stenotype machines translate as they go. The paper tape still records the original notes, but an LCD display on the machine itself shows the words in regular English.

Almost all stenographers have their own customized machines. A brand-new, top-of-the-line stenotype costs up to about $4,500. Cheaper training models are a bit over $1,000.

In the last few years, more court reporters have begun to use less expensive technologies. A “verbatim” reporter holds a tiny microphone up close to his mouth and repeats everything he hears behind a mask and device that silences the sound of his voice. Voice-recognition software can translate the recording into printed text either after the fact or as the recording is made.

If you need court reporting services that handle digital recording then CourtScribes.com which supports all states and programs that aid in the court reporting world are ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

Although the majority of cities that offer CourtScribes’ services are in Florida, the company home base, other cities all across these United States that CourtScribes offers services in, are the following: Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, Port St. Lucie, Fort Lauderdale, Cape Coral, Coral Springs, Clearwater, Palm Bay, Fort Myers, Weston, Sarasota, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Hialeah, Stuart, Hollywood, Naples, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Jupiter, Key West, Coral Gables, Maryland, Manhattan, Buffalo, Washington DC, Baltimore, Bowie, Virginia, Frederick, Albany, New York, Brooklyn,  Westchester, Gaithersburg, and Rockville.

Canadian Stenography Student Becomes TikTok Star

Posted on: February 1st, 2021 by joshw No Comments

Stenography is getting a popularity boost thanks to a series of how-to videos posted by a female Edmonton, Alberta, Canada student. Isabelle Lumsden, who is taking a stenography course at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, featured her stenotype “steno” machine in a video that she posted on the social media app TikTok in September, 2020.

The people were hooked. Soon enough there were 3.3 million views on the video, close to half a million likes, and the 23-year-old was fielding a flood of questions.

 

“People were most fascinated by the keys and actually just how they work,” said Lumsden. “Lots of people were commenting, saying it was like witchcraft and very thrown off by it.”

 

Stenotype machines are used by court reporters who capture testimony verbatim during trials, hearings or depositions. The shorthand tapped into the stenotype looks like an alien language before being translated into proper sentences using a connected computer. Unlike the standard QWERTY keyboard, the stenotype machine has only 22 keys.

Shortage of court reporters

Stenography is often described as one of the original careers for women, dating back to the 1880s. But the profession seems to have lost its luster. The North American shortage of court reporters is why many feel this way. According to a 2019 article in the Wall Street Journal, the school dropout rate for court reporters is around 80 to 85 percent.

When her mom suggested she consider court reporting as a career, Lumsden was intrigued.

After the success of her first video, Lumsden dedicated her TikTok channel to stenography and court reporting. She’s gained about 80,000 followers and has been featured on BuzzFeed.

Because TikTok videos are only a minute long, Lumsden has released several that explain exactly how the machine works and how the keys form words.

With so many transcription tools available online, some people have asked if she is concerned about seeing her job taken over by artificial intelligence.

On average, court reporters can type between 180 to 225 words per minute.

Lumsden was told to practice a minimum of two hours a day. So far she can capture up to 80 words per minute but is working her way to 100.

With the shortage of stenographers in Canada and the United States, combined with the surprising popularity of her TikTok videos, Lumsden is confident about her future employment prospects.

If you need court reporting services (with a little more experience than Lumsden) that handle digital recoding then CourtScribes.com which supports all states and programs that aid in the court reporting world are ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

Although the majority of cities that offer CourtScribes’ services are in Florida, the company home base, other cities all across these United States that CourtScribes offers services in, are the following: Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, Port St. Lucie, Fort Lauderdale, Cape Coral, Coral Springs, Clearwater, Palm Bay, Fort Myers, Weston, Sarasota, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Hialeah, Stuart, Hollywood, Naples, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Jupiter, Key West, Coral Gables, Maryland, Manhattan, Buffalo, Washington DC, Baltimore, Bowie, Virginia, Frederick, Albany, New York, Brooklyn,  Westchester, Gaithersberg, and Rockville.