Foreign Shorthand and Penmanship

 Hey Group, I could really use your imput! While speed and facility are important
goals in shorthand, I am most interested  in the theory and principles that not only
served the English speakers so well, but enabled their utilization in other languages
as well. I have been able to get hold of Gregg in Spanish, French and Polish. I am
still looking for German. I have also been able to get books containing the major
French system and two major German systems, which Gregg investigated while
developing his lightline system. As most of you have probably seen, European
cursive penmanship is much more rigid and lacks the curvey, freeflowing appearance
of American Palmer and the modern simpler styles of cursive penmanship. Their
native shorthand systems tend to be linear, not pitmanic geometric, but some do
shade some symbols nonetheless.So I am wondering if any of you have come across some data indicating that the curvealineature of Gregg  might prove difficult to
someone whose style of penmanship is , though linear, yet more vertical and rigid.
That possibly being the case, ddo you know of further data indicating that their
normal writing style would lend itself more naturally to the pitmanic? Any input
would be much appreciated!!!              DOC

(by docbandstand1 for everyone)

34 comments Add yours
  1. Below is a sample of German Gregg Shorthand (Pre-Anniversary), from the Dec 1913 issue of the Gregg Writer.  It looks pretty cursive to me.                 The transcription is below:   Herr Friedrich Lober, Cincinnati, Ohio   Werter Freund!   Es ist mir aeuszerst daran gelegen, innerhalb zehn Tagen die unbedeutende Summe von 125 Mark zu erhalten, damit ich meine verbinlichkeiten gegen die Herren Hermann und Comp. erfuellen kann.  An dem vertrauen dieser Firma ist mir sehr viel gelegen; denn von ihm haengt mein ganzes Geschaeft ab. Wollen Sie mir daher mit genannter Summe auf sechs Wochen aushelfen?  Einer baldigen Antwort entgegensehend zeichne ich.   Hochachtungsvoll und ergebenst,   I don't speak German, so I have no idea what I typed.

  2. Chuck, Thanks for this marvelous sample of German Gregg.   In writing my response themessage form disappeared twice. When I finally finished  it wound up in the "Downstairs" discussion file. John if you have a means to move it here please do. Thanks. Group please excuse me for my computer illiteracy. Thanks all!

  3. Some previous posts called some European systems cursive as a contrast to Gregg. Seems to me that Gregg and Pitmann are both cursive, since the letters in a singe word are mostly connected. What is meant by saying other styles are cursive, that the words in a sentence are also joined?

    _______________________
    Praise the Lord, I saw the light line!

  4. If you would like to see some examples of German shorthand (Kurzscrift), see http://www.steno.ch/htm/220.htm  If shows examples of both the shorthand (the Stolze-Schrey system which was a modification of the Gabelsberger system) and its translation into German.  Hope you can speak/read German.  It definitely shows a penmanship "slant" to the shorthand.  I believe that is the system that extended through the WWII period and perhaps beyond until shorthand was abandoned for all practical purposes.   Tom

  5. Chuck,   I am a lifelong resident of Philadelphia,PA.   Tom, Thanksfor the info. I have been able to purchase books on Stolze-Schrey and Gabelsberger directly from Germany via ABE,com. I have a German acquaintance combing the Vaterland  for a German Gregg manual.    Doc

  6. Doc, Ich kann noch mittelmäßiges  Deutsch sprechen.  Therefore, I also remain interested in the German language.  So, us know if you find anything on a German version of Gregg.  I would be interested in how the umlaut in such words as "mittelmäßiges" is handled.  I assume it would be just as easy to add them in above a particular vowel.  The "ß" is probably treated as a single "s". Tom

  7. Thanks Chuck,  I live about 168 miles from there in Maryland according to Google maps.  Every now and then I get into the Philadelphia area.  May take a look at the Louis A. Leslie Collection at Rider Un.   Tom

  8. Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ, houses the Louis A. Leslie Collection of Historical Shorthand Materials, which is basically a collection he donated to the Library in 1987.  It contains approximately 9,500 books and periodicals on shorthand, typing, and the history of shorthand education.  I believe that Lawrenceville is about 35 miles from Philadelphia.  I checked their catalog, and they don't have the German adaptation of Gregg, but they have other goodies that you may want to check out.  If I see the German version, I will let you know. http://library.rider.edu

  9. Chuck and Greggsters,   I just received two German manuals  for German stenographers fluent in English which takes the forms of a third German shorthand system and applies them to English. I was orgasmic….let me restate that…..estatic with this rare discovery from the early and later periods of German shorthand. Again the forms are rounded ina somewhat rigid fashion similar to German penmanship and seems to involve some shading (its hard to tell since some of their penmanship seems shaded as well).  DOC

  10. Both books are by Albert Tansen. The 1925 edition indicates clearly it it the Stolze-Schrey system. The 1946edition by Tanzen and E. Ahnert simply refers to the English stenography and the German stenography. I am not sure if these are pure Stolze- Schrey or an adaptation making them applicable to the English language. In comparing auctions on German, French  and Italian Ebay, it is clear that there are numerous modern systems , alphabetic as well, just as there are in English. In German Ebay, Abe.com, and  Amazon there are no references to German Gregg. My friend in Eichstatt, Germany is still searching for me, but unable so far to even find a reference to German Gregg. I have a feeling it was not used too widely. Sorry, but I am virtually computer illiterate and do not yet know how  to send  samples or pictures via computer. Allof the native Gerrman systems seemto be rounded but rigid with some shading but no positioning.                

  11. Hello Doc!   I don't really understand what you're looking for. If it's a published book on German Gregg shorthand, I'm afraid you'll find none, except the original leaflet that some of you might possess. Gregg shorthand has never been used in continental Europe. The Germans and German-speaking Swiss used Gabelsberger or Stolze-Schrey; the French used Duploy챕 or Pr챕vost-Delaunay and the Italians used no less than five different systems. Stolze-Schrey has nothing in common with Gregg – they are quite incompatible. In my career, I only met once somebody who took German Gregg. She told me she had adapted the system herself, and that hadn't posed any major problems.   In all the German systems, shading is used to indicate the different varieties of vocalic sounds ( "eu", "ei", "au", "ä", "ö"). Shading in Prévost-Delaunay indicates a nasal sound and Duployé uses no shading. The two French systems are geometric systems in which there are five different directions to draw signs.

  12.   Penmanship styles have always intrigued me. You're right. European handwriting is more rigid and drawn upright but there are also different styles here and I don't think this accounts for the differences in shorthand styles. At the time the German systems were devised, people used a horrible Gothic style of handwriting called "Fraktur," and yet, the German shorthand systems are all cursive. When the two French systems were invented, people wrote with a beautiful old-fashioned shaded style, that nobody ever uses nowadays. Those two systems are as geometric as Pitman can be. In Italy five different shorthand systems are still used. Three are cursive, two are geometric, however no one writes the Germans do, or you do in America.

  13. When I lived in Germany during the 50s, most of the adults were still writing cursively with Sütterlin.  That format always gave me difficulty being an American with a working knowlege of German.  It was much harder to read than the Fraktur style used in printed material.  The style you will most often run into in older hand written material is in this Sütterlin style.  I have attached a copy of the Sütterlin alphabet and you will see why. Tom

    Attachment: Sütterlin2.jpg

  14. You're right, Tom. Sütterlin is the name of that "cursive" style that the younger generations of Germans find really hard to decypher. However, the name Sütterlin is relatively new. It only dates back from the1880's, when that style was imposed in schools. First Reich oblige.

  15. in germany and austria the "einheitskurzschrift" is used. this is based mainly on the regular handwriting. called a graphic system. in the nether- lands a system "groote" , which looks like gabelsberger, but doesn't use shadings or positioning. fit for english, german, french, dutch. before 1940 there was a system in germany (phonetic/graphic) called "intersteno". could be used for a hundreds of languages. as far as i know pitman has adaptation in french, german, spanish, dutch(suidafrikaans).

  16. Thanks Greggateers. You answered my questions above and beyond my expectations. After searching abe.com German Kurzschift and Ebay Germany and finding no Gregg but plenty of Pitman I have reached the conclusion that geometric systems lend themselves better to international adaptations, and that native cursive systems prove easier if they resemble the movements natural to that nations cursive longhand. I have just purchased German shorthand books in which the system is adapted to speakers of English. I will be interested to see how this is accomplished. I have built up a nice shorthand library in the process of this quest and have come to the conclusion that there will only be a truly international shorthand if and when there is a real true international language on the tongues of ALL people!      DOC

  17. The fact Gregg shorthand didn't catch on in continental Europe has nothing to do with its ability to adapt itself to other languages than English. It was adapted successfully to French and used in Quebec. It was successful in North America and South America and absent in Europe because of publishing policies, not because it wasn't fit for Greek or German.   "native cursive systems prove easier if they resemble the movements natural to that nations cursive longhand."   If I wrote French or Italian the way I write Duploy챕, I would draw block letters only.   Now, I cannot agree more on your final conclusion: Vivu la internacia lingvo!

  18. >I have built up a nice shorthand library in the process of this quest and
    >have come to the conclusion that there will only be a truly international
    >shorthand if and when there is a real true international language on the
    >tongues of ALL people! DOC

    Speaking of which . . . and completely off-topic . . . if anyone is
    interested in Esperanto study in the U.S. the 3-week summer Esperanto
    Institute is coming up in July (at the School for International Training,
    Brattleboro, VT). English-language information available at
    http://www.sit.edu/esperanto , English and Esperanto information at
    http://www.esperanto.org/nask .

    Alex

  19. My, my,my, I certainly have stimulated a lively international discussion ! I enjoy this group now more and more. I am challenging my own ideas most effectively with all of your valuable and much appreciated input. Thanks all for taking the time to show your interest and concern. I was just thinking (Alex please comment!) that Gregg and Esperanto have much in common. They both have endured beyond their heyday, and remain in place to be rediscovered as new wheels are reinvented and then touted as "the latest innovaton" in communications!  DOC

  20. What does this message say? Anybody know?

    Nita

    >From: "1487Champagne"
    >Reply-To: "Gregg Shorthand"
    >To: [email protected]
    >Subject: Re: Foreign Shorthand and Penmanship
    >Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 07:13:07 -0700
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    >   es vero. un lingua internationale es benen. per exemplo +interlingua+.
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    >lingua basate sur latine, sed sine flexione, ed paroles internationale
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  21. "native cursive systems prove easier if they resemble the movements natural to that nations cursive longhand."

    This might actually be true.

    Gregg writing feels very uncomfortable to me because my natural handwriting is vertical.

    So even though I think pre-Anniversary Gregg ROCKS, I find it more natural and comfortable to write in Pitman.

  22. Nita:   If you haven't checked these sites out, they have lots of information on learning shorthand on your own.   Andrew's site is: http://gregg.angelfishy.net/ It's an exhaustive site on Pre and Anniversary and includes great info on Dr Gregg and various other Gregg notables.   He has a link to Marc's site http://www.geocities.com/shorthandshorthandshorthand/index.htm which talks about three kinds of shorthand and has great tips on learning shorthand on your own.   And a link to Ms Letha's site, http://www.shorthandclasses.com/ which has my favourite picture, a ferret drawn with Gregg outlines. Dare I forget our manager's drawing, which makes me chuckle every time I go to the site?   Ms Letha, are you still teaching a distance ed course in DJS?

  23. Those are wonderful websites.  Thank you, I added them to my favorites.    As I mentioned in another thread, I'm taking up Gregg shorthand again after over 20 years gap.  But this time I'm learning "just for me."   When I took the classes, I learned the basics, but never got proficient at it.  Up till now the only website I've used for help is one from Korea that came up in a Google search.  It has been very helpful in reading the exercises in the Gregg Shorthand Manual Simplified book.  

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