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How does the machine court reporters use work?
Due to the extensive schooling court reporters go through in order to achieve their certification, court reporters are able to type over 200 words a minute with an accuracy rate of 97.5%. This is three times faster than the average person can type. While court reporters train to be able to type at these astronomically fast speeds, it isn’t simply the movement of their fingers that allows them to type like this. It is thanks to their stenograph, or shorthand machine.
The stenograph is a laptop-like device that allows court reporters to record what is said during legal phonetically– but instead of being set up like a normal QWERTY keyboard, the keyboard is set up to record phonetically. With only 22 keys, court reporters can record anything that is said.
The Keyboard Layout
The stenograph’s keyboard is laid out in three parts. The left side of the keyboard is referred to as the “initial keys,” which consists of the phonetic sounds that start a word. For example, the “K” that starts the word “can” would be on this side. The right side is referred to as the “final keys,” which consists of phonetic sounds that ends words. For example, the final “N” sound in the word “can” would be on this side. Below these keys is the second level made up of four keys that record any and all vowel sounds. The final key is an asterisk, which is used to mark an error.
In conjunction with the court reporter’s skills, the stenograph allows reporters to record exactly what was said during a legal proceeding, translate it into “real English,” and deliver it to the attorney in the correct format. No technology can match that!
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