Court reporters: Typing Wizards or Technologically Savvy?

Court Reporting Company DC

A Washington DC court reporter can type at least 95% of all dialogue accurately. This is important when finances, child custody or legal penalties are at stake. It is crucial that Washington DC court reporters reflect exactly what has been said, so that justice proceeds smoothly. For this purpose, a Washington DC court reporter employs a special machine known as a stenotype. This is how court reporters can transcribe courtroom speech and deposition testimony so quickly.

A stenotype is a kind of word processor, but unlike your computer, it does not use a typical QWERTY keyboard. Instead, the court reporter uses a 22-key machine. How does the court reporter type without all 26 letters of the alphabet? Simply by responding to sounds instead of words: the left hand transcribes the initial consonant sounds of words, such as the “K” phoneme at the beginning of “courtroom”. The right hand types the final consonant phonemes, but since there is no “M” sound at the right hand side of the keyboard (or anywhere for that matter), the court reporter uses a combination of keys that will represent the “M” sound. Below these sets of keys are the numbers and then the vowels. Just four vowel keys can be combined to represent the myriad of vowel sounds in the English language. Think of all the ways we can pronounce the letter “O.” An experienced Washington DC court reporter relies on his or her ears when reporting, to highlight the unique sound of a word. This saves time and difficulty when guessing how to spell any unfamiliar terminology. While speech recognition technologies exist, they are yet to match the trained accuracy of a court reporter’s ear, and likely will not advance to that stage for many years to come.

At Capital Reporting Company, our highly trained court reporters work with stenotype technology to produce fast and accurate legal transcription in Washington DC. Court reporters, over the years, develop their own unique glossaries of sounds so that they may know, for instance, that “RORT,” typed on a stenotype, translates to “report.” Using their cultivated shorthand vocabularies, a court reporting professional can translate and review his/her transcriptions to give an accurate, documented account of a court proceeding or deposition. In this way, a court reporter can transcribe dictation at a pace of at least 225 words in a minute.

Founded by two attorneys and a seasoned court reporter, Capital Reporting Company combines the speed and accuracy of our stenographers with reliable courtroom technology. The National Law Journal/ Legal Times ranked Capital Reporting Company as 2013’s Best Overall Provider of Court Reporting Services. Our court reporting accuracy and reputation for excellence speak to the quality of service you can expect from us. We provide court reporting services not just in the Washington, DC metro area but throughout the United States, to ensure your legal matters are reported carefully and precisely. Contact Capital Reporting Company in Washington, DC at 800-655-3679 to learn more about our court reporting, legal transcription and other services.