How Do You Translate Shorthand?

Translate shorthand by either referencing the system used in the document you need to translate or employing a person who knows the shorthand system in question. Because there are many different writing systems referred to as shorthand, online translators are not accurate for all shorthand methods. Standardized shorthand systems can be translated by anyone with an appropriate reference, while non-standard and personal shorthand require expert translation.

If your document was written in a codified shorthand system, such as Pitman or Gregg, use a reference to translate shorthand into English. Because these systems are standardized, they can be translated just as any other language. For personal or less standard shorthand systems, the original writer is always the best reference to translate a document. In cases where the document's author is not available, a person well versed in the original author's shorthand is the preferable substitute.

In typed shorthand, or other systems employing standard Latin characters, it may be possible in some cases for a reader who is not fluent in the shorthand system used to translate a document. This is easiest when the translator is familiar with the subject or situation detailed in the document, since context is key to translating non-standard shorthand.