Professional court reporters play an important role in the legal process by creating a typed transcript of every word that is spoken in open court. This transcript is then used to create a legal record of the proceedings and can even play a key role in determining whether or not a witness committed perjury or if an appeal is warranted based on improper procedure during a court hearing. In order to keep up with the fast paced nature of a court proceeding, court reporters must be able to capture a minimum of 225 words per minute with a high rate of accuracy. If you wish to pursue a career as a court reporter, you may be wondering how you can possibly increase your typing speed so dramatically. The answer to this question can be found in a small machine known as a stenotype machine.
What Is A Stenotype Machine?
A stenotype machine is made up of only 22 keys. Unlike a traditional QWERTY keyboard that offers a separate key for each letter of the alphabet, a stenotype machine assigns keys based on phonetic sounds.
A stenotype machine is split into three sections. The left side of the machine focuses on the hard phonetic sounds that are heard at the beginning of words, such as the hard K or D sound. The right side of the machine focuses on the softer sounds that are typically heard at the end of words, such as a soft T or M sound. Finally, the bottom row of keys offers four vowel sounds to complete the phonetic alphabet.
How Can A Court Reporter Type Faster By Using A Stenotype Machine?
Rather than typing each word that is spoken using proper spelling, professional court reporters learn to listen for sounds rather than words. This allows them to capture each word much faster by reducing the number of key strokes it takes to represent the word.
For instance, if you were typing the word reporter, you would need to make 8 separate key strokes on a traditional QWERTY keyboard in order to accurately represent each letter in the word. However, if you were to capture this same word on a stenotype machine based on the phonetic sounds that you hear, you would be able to capture the word reporting using just two keystrokes. This is the secret behind the amazing typing speeds that are accomplished by professional court reporters like G & M Court Reporters & Video.