Learn More About the Court Reporter’s Favorite Tool

Thanks to our extensive education and training, our court reporters are able to type three times faster than the average person at a whopping 200 words a minute. These speeds can seem inhuman to the average person, but court reporters have an added advantage: the shorthand machine (stenograph), a laptop-like device that is much different than your standard laptop.

The shorthand machine doesn’t have your standard QWERTY keyboard. Instead of letters, the 22 keys represent phonetic sounds, so that when court reporters press multiple keys at once (known as “chording”) court reporters can record what was said with far more ease, allowing them to produce superior transcripts of court proceedings.

The Breakdown

The shorthand keyboard is broken up into three sections:

  1. The initial keys: these keys record the initial phonetic sounds in a word. For example, the hard “K” in “can.” Located on the left-hand side of the keyboard.
  2. The final keys: these keys record the final phonetic sounds in a word. For example, the “N” in “can.” Located on the right-hand side of the keyboard.
  3. The vowel keys: while there are only four vowel keys, they can represent any vowel sound. Located on the second level of the keyboard.

The asterisk key is used to mark an error on the off-chance that one arises. Once a court reporter has a full grasp of this machine, they can record what was said quickly, accurately, and effectively. The transcript is then translated into “real English” for the attorney’s convenience.

Learn more about our court reporters’ skills and credentials by contacting us today.

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Our Portland, Oregon Office

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Our Portland, Oregon Office