What types of transcription methods do I need to know as a Court Reporter?

Court Reporting can be a very lucrative career choice; however, your salary may depend on what sort of educational training you have acquired. Depending on your job description, you may be required to have training in one or more types of transcription methods. You will need to do research on what type is used in your specific area of interest and then find a certification or degree program that will suit your needs. Some programs cover all the bases.

Perhaps the most popular transcription method is the use of the stenotype machine. These types of machines were designed to assist Court Reporters in keeping up with fast paced dialogue through special keyboard combinations that create words. In this method, keys are pressed in succession to spell out words or phrases with a minimum of strokes, therefore, allowing the Court Reporter the ability to record dialogue at record speed. Professional testing requires one to write with speeds of at least 225 words per minute with accuracy, however, some experts can reach 300 words per minute. Court Reporters then must transcribe their dictations into a written document that is readable by everyone. Here’s an interesting fact for you… According to the Guinness World Records, the most words recorded while using a stenotype machine was 360 wpm, with a 97.23% accuracy.

Court Reporters may also use a steno mask. In this method, a Court Reporter speaks directly into a mask that fits snuggly upon the face with an elastic neck strap. It contains a built-in microphone in the sound-proof mask, therefore, when the Court Reporter is “re-voicing” every word, it is recorded directly into a speech recognition system where it is converted into software and checked for accuracy and grammar. The sound-proof mask prevents others from hearing the reporters voice. Transcription in this manner can be recorded at approximately 180 words per minute with 95% accuracy. Stenomask equipment can be customized to meet the needs of the legal system or any other application. In addition, you can add additional words or names into its library of terms for easier recognition.

Digital recording, also called electronic court reporting, is the newest method of transcription. Court Reporters are tasked with operating the high-quality, strategically placed audio and/or video equipment that records courtroom proceedings. Digital Court Reporters maintain their equipment, as well as, take notes on who is speaking and other pertinent information or emotions that can not be relayed by audio only. This method is particularly helpful when everyone is talking over each other or when encountering background noise. Video is helpful to attorneys when evaluating facial expressions and body language. In some instances, Court Reporters are then asked to translate their audio or video recordings into a written transcript.

Depending on the environment or situation, your options of transcribing methods are varied, however, each has its own unique qualities and uses. If you are interested in this field of work, please check out our choices for the Best Online Schools for Court Reporting to help you in your endeavors.