Although many reporters make audio-synched recordings as they write, it is essential for scopists to know how to read steno notes. And after asking around at different conventions, reporters seem to feel the same way. There are times when the audio can’t be heard, but enough information can be gleaned from the notes to make the record.
Is it hard to learn? Not the way I teach it! I’ve broken down the learning process in such a way that I truly believe a third grader could learn it. For people who love words, steno usually comes as second nature.
It’s like solving a little word puzzle. Since reporters write phonetically, you sound out the syllables, then look at the context and see if you can figure out the word. If not, it’s never wrong to leave the steno in the file. After all, had the reporter written it correctly in the first place, you wouldn’t have to figure it out! Even now, I run across a word I can’t figure out now and then. It’s no big deal.
I thought learning to read steno notes was really fun, and I’ll bet you will too! Try our little sneak peek at Notereading and see what you think!