Equipment and Technology
Court reporters not only record history -- they contribute to it through technological breakthroughs.
In addition to their usual work taking down everything said in court and capturing pretrial witness depositions, court reporters provide computer technology that keeps all parties working at a swift pace. Sophisticated analytical software packages, utilized by highly skilled court reporters, help counsel understand the significance of each day's events.
Today's court reporters have the option of displaying instantaneous translation (realtime translation) on a computer monitor or on an overhead display screen for deaf or hard-of-hearing participants or attendees.
All of the hardware and software is available for students' use in a computer lab at the College. However, students must purchase or rent their own stenotype machine in order to practice at home. The stenotype machine has 22 keys, each printing an alphabetical letter. All fingers and thumbs may be used to strike any number of keys simultaneously. A narrow strip of folded paper moves ahead with each stroke, recording a phonetic syllable or an abbreviation for a word or phrase. A trained stenotype reporter can record at speeds of 250 words per minute or more with the stenotype machine.
Computer-Aided Transcription (CAT)
This is a stenotype machine producing paper notes. It simultaneously produces an electronic duplicate of what is contained on the paper notes. The electronic notes are fed directly into a computer that translates the notes into English. The reporter reviews and edits the translated
material on the computer screen, then makes a direct printout of the transcript. The technology greatly speeds the production of transcripts, while also making transcripts immediately available on disk for interested parties.
Shown below is the stenotype keyboard.