You may be wondering how court reporters type so fast. They are actually trained to dictate at 225 words per minute with a 98.5% accuracy rate. There are some secrets to their typing methods which I’ll elaborate on in this article.
The court reporting machine is a keyed machine with 22 unmarked keys representing sounds instead of words. The court reporter has to think of phonics over spelling. The keyboard the court reporter uses is split in half with one half for left fingers and one half for right fingers and a second level of keys for thumbs to rest upon.
The left side of the keyboard has beginning phonetic sounds such as the hard K sound in the beginning of cat and the right side has final sounds like the N sound at the end of man. In the middle where the thumbs hit is the vowels with only four vowel keys on the machine. Different combinations of the thumb keys use vowel sounds such as long A, short A, long I, short I, ou, and oo.
The court reporter listens to sounds in the courtroom instead of context, meaning, or spelling. They can type three strokes to write the words court reporting using their keyboard while a normal reporter would take 15 strokes. Combinations of sound and briefs make the court reporter a quick and accurate professional in the courtroom.