How Court Reporting Machines Work

The first question many people have when they see court reporters in action is how they manage to type so fast. The secret is in the court reporting machine. When you hire a court reporter in Palo Alto, California, he or she will bring a stenotgraphy machine that allows him or her to report what is being said with incredible speed and accuracy. Here's a closer look at how it works.

Court reporters may look like they are typing much as you would on your computer keyboard, but in reality, they aren't typing actual words. Instead, court reporters type phonetically. The machine itself has 22 keys and is split into two halves. One half contains starting sounds, the other final sounds, with the middle containing vowel sounds. Typing phonetically allows court reporters to shave multiple keystrokes off each word, which contributes to their speed These phonetic records are then translated into accurate transcripts of every word said.

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