Information about the Polish Gregg


I’ve seen Gregg for Polish been mentioned here and in a few other places but I haven’t got much information about it. I’d just like to know if it’s a same kind of adaption as, say, the Spanish version or have they done any bigger modifications to it like letter re-ordering or new kinds of strokes.

I’m interested in this because I’m trying to adapt the Gregg system for Finnish (for fun and because I don’t like our current Gabelsberger system.. 😉 and I think Polish would be closer to my language than the germanic ones. Maybe it could give me new ideas.

(by nonpop for everyone)

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  1. The Polish version of Gregg that I have is copyrighted 1926, so it is based on 1916 Gregg. Polish is a language that has words that consist of  a single consonant (eg. z, w) and words which contain a string of consonants with no vowels coming between (szcz) or combinations of consonants not found in English (gdz, dz, etc.). There are vowels corresponding to our English sounds but also nasal vowels. So Gregg's Polish collaborator used English Gregg symbols that approximate the American English phonetic pronounciation. Some Gregg symbols were altered to represent the Polish pronounciation. Reason tells us that the scientific selection of English Gregg symbols, that were created with their frequency of occurence in mind, might not carry over to another language easily. Therefore, what I have noticed in Polish Gregg words and brief forms are a lot of near equivalents. Also Polish verbs, nouns, pronouns and adjectives are heavily declined and require modified suffixes able to denote gender, number person and case. It seems that Polish Gregg at best could only approximate Polish linguistic demands. Where Gregg letters could not be joined easily, brief forms were created and abbreviations abound. These same considerations would apply to adapting Gregg for use with any other Slavic language. Stenografja Polska by Gregg and Josef Widzowski  is hard to come by. To obtain Polish stenographic materials  you might contact the large Polishbookstore in New York.               DOC

  2. Thanks for the reply! 🙂

    Clearly the creator of the Polish version had very different problems from mine. Finnish has pretty few consonants and the combinations are simple. The vowels are more of a problem here and I'm starting to think that I should take at least one of the consonant strokes to represent a vowel. Another problem is the lack of upward strokes. Our words tend to be long and thus they often get pretty "high". That is, they go well below the line of writing. I've tried to solve this by making a long version the original 'th' stroke, too (I need short-long pairs because I use the length to differentiate between a single and a double consonant) but it's sometimes hard to tell the difference between a "long th" and a combination of, say, a "t" and a "k". I could use an angle but the combination is still sort of common and the resulting sound is also pretty much "blend-like"…

    Well.. maybe there is no real problem and I'm just too much of a perfectionist ;p

    If anyone's interested in this thing (especially Finns) it'd be nice to discuss it a bit. 🙂

  3. The diacritics were actually used for that in some of my first versions, but I didn't like it much since I also use diacritical marks for double vowels and to differentiate between front and back vowels. In Finnish the length of the vowels and consonants are important (“tuli”, “tuuli” and “tulli” are all nouns in the nominative case but mean completely different things) so I'd like to be able to represent at least half of them without extra ticks.

    I don't think our words have many suffixes (though I haven't researched it yet) but the disjoined strokes for postfixes (or whatever those little endings are called) could indeed work, especially for the very common “-ksi” which would otherwise make the outline go down another two degrees (one degree being the length of a “P”-stroke in the English version). Funny that I didn't seriously consider that before =]

  4. I'm interested in this topic, but I don't know Finish.  However, I have some suggestions.  For the double consonants (and double vowels), wouldn't it be easier to use diacritical marks, like we do with the S and Z in English, instead of doubling the length?  Also, have you identified suffixes that could be abbreviated by a simple stroke?  If words tend to be long and formed by agglutination, perhaps using disjoined strokes close to each other may be an option.  Since Finish doesn't have articles, in theory you could use those strokes for something.

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