Examining the Technology Behind Court Reporting

Your firm may regularly use court reporters in San Jose, but do you know how court reporting technology works? Court reporters have extensive training in using a device called a stenograph machine to quickly create incredibly precise legal transcriptions. Keep reading to learn more about the fascinating technology used by court reporting services.

Court Reporters in San Jose


Why Use a Stenograph Machine?


On average, people speak about 180 to 200 words per minute. A court reporter must create a legal transcription of every single word that is said during a court proceeding, and that legal transcription must be 100% accurate. Even an incredibly skilled typist can only type around 80 words per minute. A stenograph machine utilizes a specialized stenotype keyboard that allows court reporters to type between 200 and 300 words per minute.


How the Stenotype Keyboard Works


A stenotype keyboard only has 22 keys, and court reporters are trained to use these keys to create any word that is spoken during a court proceeding. The keyboard is made up of a number bar on top, two rows of consonants below, and four vowel keys on the fourth or bottom row. Court reporters know how to use the stenotype keyboard to type a word using just one letter, or a combination of a few different letters. Words are typed phonetically, rather than how they are actually spelled, which saves court reporter’s valuable time as they are creating legal transcriptions.


The Intricate Process of Chording


Chording is a technique used by court reporter’s that allows them to streamline the legal transcription process. This process entails hitting a combination of keys on the stenotype keyboard at the same time, essentially creating a word’s sound, rather than its spelling. A chord on a stenotype keyboard can represent a syllable, a word, or even an entire phrase. Every time a court reporter types a chord, the stenograph machine creates a line of text in the legal transcription. Court reporters also develop their own time-saving techniques for creating legal transcriptions using a stenograph machine.

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