How Does a Court Reporter Build a Transcription Dictionary?

Technical depositions and court testimony can be challenging for new court reporters and court reporting students. It is the court reporter’s responsibility to make sure that every word in the transcript is spelled properly. To do otherwise makes the court reporter look unprofessional, inexperienced or lazy. It may also make the person reading the transcript wonder if a certain word was missed, what else is wrong with the transcript.

Court reporters begin with a basic software translation dictionary for stenotype to English. They start it in school and must build it up word by word as they take more testimony. Each grouping of stenotype strokes equals a word. The word’s stroke combination must be defined in the software dictionary before it can come up in English during the translating process. The more words properly defined in the court reporter’s dictionary, the faster and easier the transcription process becomes.

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