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What is Stenography?: Types, Course, Duration & Fees

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What is Stenography? While writing in shorthand, stenography substitutes symbols for words. In-depth explanations of stenography’s definition, categories, and appeal will be covered in this blog article. We will also examine the various stenography training formats and job alternatives.

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What is Stenography?

The skill of writing in shorthand is called stenography. It is a method of condensed writing that is used to record speech or take fast notes. Greek words stenos, which means “narrow,” and graphein, which means “to write,” combine to form the word stenography.

Since the time of the ancient Greeks, stenography has been in use. Shorthand was widely employed in court reporting and business in the 18th and 19th centuries. The invention of the typewriter and other technologies around the turn of the 20th century reduced the need for stenography.

Court reporters and other professionals who need to take quick, precise notes still utilize stenography in modern times. Some people also use stenography as a sort of speed writing to take notes rapidly without having to write out every word.

How Does Stenography Work?

Stenography is a type of rapid writing where words or sentences are represented by symbols or abbreviations. It allows you to write swiftly without having to write every word out completely.

Whole words, sounds, or syllables can all be represented by stenographic symbols. They can be written in a nonlinear manner, like a code, or in a linear manner, like conventional text. Stenography can be typed manually or automatically.

Typically, handwritten stenography is written on special paper with ruled lines and symbols in a notebook. The symbols are written in a precise order and are read from left to right and top to bottom. Machine-written stenography is often written using a stenotype machine with a keyboard with dedicated keys for each symbol.

You must be able to read the symbols and understand their meanings in order to utilize stenography. You also need to be able to write swiftly to keep up with the person speaking. Note-taking during meetings, lectures, and court sessions can be done using stenography.

Stenography is a rapid and effective style of writing, and it can be used to write down verbatim notes or to transcribe speech. Everyone who needs to take accurate and thorough notes, such as journalists, students, and researchers, can benefit from learning this ability.

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Types of Stenography

Stenography can be divided into three basic categories: Pitman, Speed Writing, and Shorthand.

  • The quickest of the three is shorthand, which is frequently used by court reporters. It is a way of writing swiftly that involves shortening words and representing sounds with symbols.
  • Although speedwriting takes a little longer, it is still far quicker than handwriting. It is a quick writing technique that makes use of symbols and abbreviations.
  • Pitman is the most accurate of the three but is also the slowest. It is a way of writing that employs an alphabet based on sounds.

What is Stenography

How to Learn Stenography?

Understanding the fundamentals of written language is a prerequisite for learning stenography. The ability to write the alphabet, as well as read and write words, is included. After laying the groundwork, one can start learning the stenographic symbols and abbreviations.

There are several methods for learning stenography. One option is to enroll in an online course or stenography school class. This will enable you to learn the fundamentals of the system and how to operate a steno machine.

Finding a tutor or practicing with someone who is already proficient in stenography is another approach to learn. This may be a more cost-effective choice, and practicing with a friend can be enjoyable.

And one other approach to learn is to purchase a stenography machine and practice at home. Online materials are another option for learning the fundamentals of stenography. It is crucial to be persistent and patient in order to learn this talent, regardless of the learning method you select.

Stenography Course

In India, there are numerous institutions and training facilities that offer stenography courses. Shorthand, transcription, and speed typing are just a few of the fundamental to advanced stenography topics that are covered in the course. Students who successfully complete the course will be able to quickly and accurately take dictation.

The stenography programs offered in India are listed below:

  1. ITI Stenographer Course 
  2. Diploma Stenographer course 
  3. Stenographer Certificate Course

1. ITI Stenographer Course 

The one-year stenography curriculum at ITI will instruct you on how to use a stenotype machine, also referred to as a shorthand typewriter. Grammar, communicating, writing, using computer operating systems and the internet, among other things, will all be covered in this course. The training is provided in both English and Hindi.

Course Length and Costs

The ITI’s 1-year, 2-semester, 6-month-long stenography program costs between INR 10,000 and INR 50,000.

2. Diploma Stenographer course 

A certificate program in diploma stenography introduces students to the field of court reporting. It is pursued after the 12th grade and takes one to two years to complete. The students receive a certificate upon completion of the course, at which point they can begin working as court reporters.

Course Length and Costs

The cost of a 1- to 2-year diploma in stenography ranges from INR 10,000 to INR 100,000, depending on the institute.

3. Stenographer Certificate Course

A three-year diploma program called the Stenographer Certificate Course offers instruction in all the fundamentals of stenography. You can look up any position at a private office or a public agency after completing this course.

After receiving a job offer, you must pass a written test to verify employment. If you can print precisely and without mistakes at a speed of 200 wpm, you will be regarded as a stenographer.

Possibilities for a Stenography Career

You must finish a training course that teaches you how to type quickly and use shorthand if you’re interested in working as a stenographer.

After completing your training, you will be able to obtain employment in a variety of places, such as courts, legal firms, and government organizations. With the right education and abilities, stenography can be a lucrative career.

A stenographer may pursue a variety of careers, including

  • Stenographer
  • Steno Secretary
  • Steno Typist
  • Steno Office Assistant
  • Data Entry Operator

Pay for stenographers

Major determinants of stenographer pay include location, education, years of experience, and others. In India today, stenographers make between INR 10,000 and INR 20,000 per month.


Writing in shorthand, either by hand or using a specialized stenograph machine, is known as stenography. Stenography was a skill that secretaries, reporters, and other persons who needed to swiftly and accurately record written material needed throughout the 20th century. Though less frequently used nowadays, this skill is nonetheless useful in specific settings, such as courtrooms where a real-time transcription of occurrences is mandated by law.

Stenography has been used by humans for practically as long as writing has existed. Shorthand systems can function in a variety of ways, and many languages have given rise to a wide range of shorthand systems. While some systems use well-known letters but give them new meanings in order to write in shorthand, others rely on symbols that represent certain letters, sounds, or thoughts.

Although though stenography is considered to be a universal language, many people find it challenging to interpret other people’s shorthand writing. Some people, like court reporters, must learn and apply a standard system so that a transcript may be reviewed independently. In order to “unpack” their shorthand into complete text by hiring transcriptionists, many people like learning established systems. A brief communication may appear to someone who uses atypical systems or modifies a system—even unintentionally—to be complete gibberish.

FAQS on What is Stenography

How much time will it take to learn Stenography?

Stenography is a skill that can be learned in 1-2 years. The amount of time it takes to learn stenography depends on the individual’s ability to learn and retain information and commitment to practice.

What is shorthand in Stenography?

Shorthand is a technique used in stenography to help transcribe speeches or other text more quickly. In shorthand, symbols and abbreviations represent words or sounds, which can help the stenographer write down what is being said more quickly.

Why is Stenography important?

Stenography is an important skill for anyone who needs to take notes quickly or transcribe speeches. It can be a valuable tool for students, journalists, secretaries, and anyone who needs to take down information quickly.

While there are many different shorthand systems, most are based on the idea of representing common words with abbreviations or symbols. By using stenography, people can take down information more quickly and accurately than if they were trying to write everything out longhand.

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