transcription machine as training aid

Five years ago I learned DJS well enough to use it for “secret writing” but that’s all. Now taking up Anni and have started using a mini-cassette  transcription machine for word list drill. Wish I’d used it when I started with DJS.

Back then I made the mistake Gregg warns against – I got in the habit of drawing pretty outlines instead of writing acceptable outlines fast. Had no teacher to push and didn’t do it myself. Now I’m having to break the habit.

I work about 100 words at a time – I take them from the 5,000 words booklet for Anni – record them somewhere in the range of 60 wpm. I start by running the machine slower, but even then, I get hopelessly behind right away. A tap of the foot pedal brings the tape back a few words and off it goes for another pass.

Eventually, after this steady back and forth, advancing a few words at a time, I can write the batch of 100 below speed. Then repeat with full runs, advancing the speed in steps until reaching normal.

It’s handy to be able to adjust the speed, but the foot pedal is the key. It makes possible long bouts of continuous practice. It’s similar to how we learn new, difficult pieces in music. Lots of repetition, always pushing the tempo, with repeated short backups to master the hard parts.

An odd turn-about. The machine that helped make shorthand obsolete may be one of the best ways to learn it. At least for me.

Now that I’ve found where everyone went after the msn shutdown, I’m looking forward to using the machine to work on many of the dictation material folks have kindly uploaded. Thank you for making that material available. What a resource!

(by Clark for group greggshorthand)

7 comments Add yours
  1. There's a free download transcription program which we use at work, available here:

    It works with a foot pedal which I bought on ebay. Don't buy the Olympus pedal, get an Infinity USB pedal. Pedals $60 – $120 depending on seller.

    We've been using the software for years, and it works really well.

    Can slow down & speed up quite far without too much distortion.


  2. habra alguna alma de Dios que pudiera traducir este post, mi ingles no llega a tanto. si me ayudan yo con mucho gusto pondre una idea que tengo para entrenar velocidad no la he puesto antes, por que no estoy seguro de que alguien en este sitio hable español, Muchas Gracias por adelantado.

  3. For the life of me, I can't remember the handle. Apparently those brain cells have been erased and used for something else.

    Good idea about the pedal and the transcription software – I figured someone would have some helpful ideas like that. As for tape, I see older analog machines on eBay at reasonable prices – and new Panasonic models like mine at eyebrow-raising figures. The one I'm using has been around the office for years, sure hope we didn't pay that much for it!

    To continue the discussion: I'm now wondering if one might be able to construct a self-taught program using the machine to make your own practice tapes from the books and literature. Start with dictation on the very first lesson. When the word lists get too monotonous, I may give it a try with "Alice" or one of the Gregg story books.

    I've never seen a live Gregg teacher, but I understand they start off with dictation right away. Starting from the very first, ear-to-hand, instead of eye-to-hand — surely that would make for better results. I envy you folks who've had the experience of a live teacher.

    Can anyone help our Spanish speaker?

  4. Gregg teachers, and books, vary. The Functional Method has you reading for many lessons before touching a pen. You get to see how the strokes fit together are are less likely to do something wrong because you don't know it can be confused with another stroke. (My first text didn't mention the T-D blend until I'd firmly learned a D stroke that was too long.)

    Gregg starts paragraphs earlier than some books.

    I started a page for Simplified dictation files, keyed to the books I have. Most of the paragraphs are in both books. The grand plan is to put up the entire book, but so far has only lessons 11 and 12.

    If anyone has more sound files, I'd love to put them up.


  5. JSilveras—¿Ud. quiere que le traduzcamos el post original, acerca de la máquina de transcripción? Dice así: Hace cinco años, aprendí taquigrafía de la serie Diamond Jubilee (Jubileo de Diamantes)
    lo suficiente bien para usarlo como un "idioma secreto", pero nada más. Ahora estoy adoptando la serie Aniversario y he comenzado a utilizar una máquina de transcripción que usa mini-casetes para practicar los ejercicios de listas de palabras. Qué la hubiera usado cuando comencé con la serie Jubileo de Diamantes.

    En ese entonces, cometí el error acerca del cual Gregg nos advierte–adquirí el hábito de dibujar formas bonitas en lugar de escribir rápidamente formas aceptables. Yo no tenía profesor para empujarme, y no me empujaba a mí mismo. Ahora, tengo que romper ese hábito.

    Yo trabajo con casi cien palabras a la vez–las tomo del folleto de 5,000 palabras de la serie Aniversario–las grabo dentro de una gama de 60 palabras al minuto. Empiezo por poner la máquina a una velocidad lenta, pero aún así, pronto me pongo totalmente atrasado. Pero un pequeño golpe al pedal rebobina el casete por algunas palabras, y vuelvo a intentar.

    Eventualmente, después de practicar así en ambas direcciones, avanzando unas palabras a la vez, puedo escribir la lista entera de cien palabras bajo velocidad. Luego hago repeticiones completas, avanzando la velocidad en pasos hasta que alcance a la velocidad normal.

    Resulta útil poder ajustar la velocidad, pero el pedal es el factor clave. Hace posible sesiones largas de práctica contínua. Es similar a la manera en que aprendemos nuevas piezas difíciles de música. Mucha repetición, siempre empujando el comás, haciendome para atrás repetitivamente para llegar a dominar las partes dificiles.

    Irónicamente, la máquina que ayudó a hacer obsoleta la taquigrafía puede ser una de las mejores maneras de aprenderla. Al menos para mí.

    Ya que he descubierto el sitio adonde fueron todos después de la clausura de MSN, tengo ganas de usar la máquina para trabajar en mucha de la materia de dictación que la gente ha tenido la bondad de cargar. Gracias por hacer disponible esa materia. ¡Qué recurso!

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