What’s Your Scopist IQ?

I like to save funny and/or interesting mistranslates, partly for my own amusement, but also because they can provide a wonderful learning experience. I thought it might be educational to let you try your hand at some of the brainteasers that I’ve run across in my day-to-day work.

In the following examples, I list the computer translation followed by the underlying steno. I saved the answers for the end of the post 🙂

NOTE: if you’re brand new and just learned what a scopist is, this will not make much sense to you!! Be sure to take our free intro course to learn more.

Stacking

Stacking usually involves one hand going a little too fast and inserting a word or syllable in the middle of another stroke. The scopist has to “unscramble” the steno to figure out the correct words.

Q. Have you had to hag well /HAG /W-L people after signing an agreement to get a check?

A. Other consume horse /KPHAOUPL /HOERS have thin hair don’t like silicon.

Q. I guess that the teens /T-S /TAOEPBS my question.

A. They are ledgers on expenses and what it cost toss go and interest /KOS /TOS /TKPW /APB /TR work and how much I make.

Mistranslates

Sometimes the English is so confusing, it’s best to ignore it altogether and depend on the underlying notes.

Q. When you say “a little wet,” can you be any more stripped the active /STREUPT /TEUF?

A. We had a he’ll advice /EL /SREUS I’m person nay tore /EUPL /PER /SOPB /TPHAEU /TOR, a March line /PHAR /HREUPB Monroe I’m person nay tore /EUPL /PER /SOPB /TPHAEU /TOR.

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Q. What do you know an et cetera deedally /APB /EBG /TKOED /AEL from your own insurance /SH-RPBS about turnover in these plants?

Mixed strokes

Sometimes a couple of strokes get mixed together and have to be sorted back out:

Q. Did you do /THAFRPBLG yes die.

A. We would get all of their orders and manipulate the /TKA /TARBGS /STPEUT out monthly reports and things of that nature.

Imperfect steno

Thank goodness, even the best writer is going to have some mistrokes; otherwise, I’d be out of work. These are usually figured out by context:

A. Please clarify the we.
THE WITNESS: The Tsung people felt that that was a.
Q. Start.

A. Many people, particularly in ’95, were dies even chants /TKEUS /EPB /KHAPBTS /W-D the computer acquisition.

Rewrites:

The asterisk deletion feature doesn’t always work, so a rewrite may show up in the text. If the steno is very close and/or contains an asterisk, it can usually be recognized as a restroke that should be deleted.

Q. Do you have any other relatives besides your /WHO*RPB /KPHOPB law wife?

A. They’re just /-GTS /-LGTS handbooks.

Undefined words:

Dictionary building is a lifelong chore for reporter and scopist alike. It’s rewarding being able to define and send the reporter words such as:

Q. Have you ever been exposed to anybody who has to the best of your recollection cue low cyst /TOE /* /TU /PWURBG /KAOU /HROE /SEUS. (Note the rewrite.)

A. Everybody every month had to identify between three and five pro or /TEUF projects.

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Q. But you weren’t at a familiar mouse /TPAPL /PHOUS golfers house, were you?

Numbers for words and vice versa:

Occasionally numerals will appear in the middle of a word or vice versa. If you refer to a keyboard chart, it’s easy to substitute the appropriate letters or numerals and figure out the correct word.

Q. You see that appears on 466 a /A?

A. Back then, probably in labor, do /TKO bucks.

Q. Do you know the 346er /34-6/ER of the boiler?

It’s in the steno: Just sounding out the steno can solve some otherwise curious puzzles.

Q. So like if he turned an order in, he would act like a child, go in a in a in a in a /TPHA /TPHA /TPHA /TPHA?

A. This is a presentation that I drafted and presented one to the staff in a VA brief /KWRAEUTed /SR /A /PWREF /KWRAEUT /-D form.

A. For vendors other than cop summer /KOP /SUPL /PHER products division vendors refist together /RE /TPEUS /TOG take any returns.

I’ve always thought figuring out these steno strokes is fun, kind of like working a crossword puzzle. Scopists don’t need — nor really want — perfect notes. Some days, that’s the only mystery I have in my life, and I like it that way.

Happy sleuthing!

The Answers:

Stacking:

Q. Have you had to haggle with people after signing an agreement to get a check?

A. Other consumers who have thin hair don’t like silicon.

Q. I guess that is the answer to my question.

A. They are ledgers on expenses and what it costs to go there and work and how much I make.

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Mistranslates:

Q. When you say “a little wet,” can you be any more descriptive?

A. We had an Elvis impersonator, a Marilyn Monroe impersonator.

Q. What do you know anecdotally from your own experience about turnover in these plants?

Mixed strokes:

Q. Did you do that?
A. Yes, I did.

A. We would get all of their orders and manipulate the data, spit out monthly reports and things of that nature.

Imperfect steno:

A. Please clarify the question.
THE WITNESS: The Tsung people felt that that was a good start.

A. Many people, particularly in ’95, were disenchanted with the computer acquisition.

Rewrites:

Q. Do you have any other relatives besides your common law wife?

A. They’re just little handbooks.

Undefined words:

Q. Have you ever been exposed to anybody who has tuberculosis?

A. Everybody every month had to identify between three and five prioritive (sic) projects.

Q. But you weren’t at a famous golfer’s house, were you?

Numbers for words and vice versa:

Q. You see that appears on 4665?

A. Back then, probably in labor, 20 bucks.

Q. Do you know the manufacturer of the boiler?

It’s in the steno:

Q. So like if he turned an order in, he would act like a child, go “na-na-na-na.”

A. This is a presentation that I drafted and presented one to the staff in a very abbreviated form.

A. For vendors other than consumer products division, vendors refusing to take any returns.

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