English Text Translations

I’m pretty new to this group, I thank you all for such a well laid out place to discover new learning tools for writing shorthand.  I am learning Anniversary, and I recently acquired the functional method books and love the reading material it offers.

I also have the American Readings in Gregg Shorthand of which I would love to have the English Texts to aid in my learning, similar to the way Mr. Leslie presented the texts at the rear of the Functional Method so that you could immediately look to the key for any unsure forms.

I know that many of you have read (and may re-read) the stories that are presented on this site in PDF form, and think that it would be a brilliant idea for this site to house keys to all of the shorthand reading material. 

I wonder if any of you more experienced shorthand readers & writers would be willing to read and transcribe the shorthand into English so that those who are new at this could have yet another great learning tool.

I’m sure that this site houses the most complete information on the web pertaining to shorthand;  the web search for a key to various stories that results in “the original English Text comes from an unknown source” is a bit disheartening when there are so many in this forum that are capable of providing those keys simply by transcribing them into English text so that the keys are not lost to an entire group of people looking to learn the art of writing shorthand.

This is my first post & I don’t know if anyone has suggested this before, but for any of you that enjoy reading shorthand that could do this to help the newcomers, I’m sure your efforts will really be beneficial to us all.

I hope some texts come from this.

Books I have that I would like a key for:

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
The Great Stone Face
Rip Van Winkle
The Man Without a Country
*Creeds of Great Businessmen
Alice In Wonderland

(non-Anniversary)
Sign of the Four

* – denotes a book for which a key is already present online

(by bay
for group greggshorthand)

16 comments Add yours
  1. Though the stories follow the same as their perspective novels, most are abridged (some more than others); I think there's great benefit in having a word-for-word transcription for learning, just as there are exact keys presented in the Functional Method.

    O, how I hope some volunteers come forward. When I get more skill I will begin doing this work as well…that may be some time off, however.

  2. mcbud: "If you can't read it, then it's time to hit the books again, :-)."

    That's after you try reading the rest of the sentence or paragraph and looking back to the offending outline. This is often effective and gives you the boost of feeling clever at figuring it out yourself. : )

  3. You're right. I've found, at least looking deeper at Alice, it is pretty close to the original. I think you were right in saying there isn't a key because the books are available…I will make note of any differences I come upon (if any) and will perhaps post a text version if I still feel it would be beneficial. I don't know how abridged the stories are, well see.

    As for expecting anyone to transcript all of them on this site…I don't think it's needed anymore. I will note any findings I come across (again, if any) if at that time I feel it's beneficial.

    If any one has noted heavily abridged Gregg stories, please give a heads up…I haven't found a copy of Christmas Carol, but I've heard it is rather different from the original.

    Happy reading!

  4. For some of those books, the key has not been posted because the original book can be downloaded online. There may be some differences with the text, but for the most part they should follow the story pretty closely.

    As for Alice, well … are there any volunteers to do this?

  5. The reading material in the blog is not presented as an aid to learn shorthand, because the material is not graded: it assumes a working knowledge of the system. The intent of the reading material is to provide additional practice in reading shorthand, exposing the reader to new vocabulary, and most importantly, making it a source of leisure reading. (The same principle applies to the "Penmanship Practice.") While we always answer the question of "what the heck is that outline on page so and so", I personally cannot transcribe every single selection there is on the site! (Nor I expect anyone else to do it, either!)

    In my opinion, when learning shorthand, students should focus their time in the manual and other auxiliary books (such as the graded readings, the speed studies, the fundamental drills, etc.) to supplement and reinforce the lessons, because the material in those books has already been tested and graded. As a consequence, the only keys the student should be presented with are the keys to those books.

    In the blog, material that is meant to be used for study (that is, graded material) and can be used to supplement (not to replace) your learning is available in the Learner's Corner. And even there, the key is not available for a reason: to test your knowledge. If you can't read it, then it's time to hit the books again, :-).

  6. http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=Printed%20in%20Gregg%20Shorthand%20AND%20subject%3A%22Printed%20in%20Gregg%20Shorthand%22

    I put keys to Creeds of Great Business Men and The Diamond Necklace on the Internet Archives. The Diamond Necklace was originally in French, so you need the English translation that matches the Gregg books.

    As for the other books, you can buy cheap hard copies of English versions, download them from the Internet archives, or buy eBook versions for your iPad. They are all public domain.

    I have read every version of every one of those books. The following Gregg Books closely match the English versions:
    –Sign of the Four. (Gregg version has brief cuts, including German and French phrases)
    –Alice in Wonderland
    –Legend of Sleepy Hollow
    –Rip Van Winkle
    –Man Without a Country. (There are a few slightly different English versions)
    –Creeds of Great Business Men (Some chapters are missing in Gregg versions)
    –The Great Stone Face
    –Letters From a Self-Made Merchant to His Son (Gregg versions use limited chapters.)
    –Hamlet (Look for "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" Chapter in "Tales of shakespeare" from 1807)

  7. The minor changes in Alice are so minimal, it is not worth the effort of transcribing it.

    Apart from Alice, what makes these books so hard to read is the archaic English from the 1600's through the 1800's. There are so many vocabulary words that most of us would not recognize.
    Also, except for Alice and the books with plates by Richmond, many of the shorthand plates have shorthand that is out of proportion and hard to read, especially the earlier books that match the 1902 Gregg Shorthand Manual. For example, it is hard to tell the difference between and L or R. Or an A or E. Sign of the Four is a mess with so many words out of proportion. And those books from the 20's with plates by Harriet Johnson are awful. Georgie Gregg's early work was not great, but Alice is well done.

  8. In other words, if we're reading to improve our feel for what good shorthand looks like, double-check which book we have. If we're reading to help us decipher poorly-written shorthand, these are good — and it's a useful skill to have, once our own brain and pen know absolutely what is correct.

  9. John Gregg explained away his messy shorthand plates in an early Gregg Shorthand manual by stating that it is good practice to read sloppy shorthand. He invented the system, but he was no artist. Those early books are hard to read.

  10. After reading Sign for the Four for the 4th time, I can figure that I am either looking at an "L" or an "R" and figure out what I'm reading. But when I was a beginner and did not have an English key, that was impossible.

  11. While learning the theory, the only messy shorthand you should read is your own (and lots of it, although ideally it won't be too messy).

    It's good to read examples from many hands, to see what variations are permissible and broaden your mind a bit. It helps when reading your own shorthand. Gregg isn't like Pitman, where the plates look machine-written. There is variation between hands, and letters change depending on the letters around them.

    But, it's best not to read too much sloppy shorthand while your brain is still impressionable. You don't want it to start letting your pen get away with it.

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