A good general education with a sound knowledge of the English language, plus a thorough grounding in grammar and punctuation, are necessary to become a verbatim reporter (VR). Added to that is the desire to work hard.

In the UK, some verbatim reporters utilise the Palantype theory and palan keyboards, whilst others use the stenotype theory and keyboards. This is why you may hear the terms “palantypist” and “stenographer” used interchangeably. All verbatim reporters are stenographers, whether they take their notes in pen shorthand, in steno or in palan.

The majority of new verbatim reporters, whether taking notes privately in court, at meetings, disciplinary hearings, or Speech‑to‑Text Reporters for D/deaf or hard-of-hearing people, are now training on the American Stenograph machine, with distance learning courses available in the UK from Sorene Verbatim Reporter Training Services. Contact Mary Sorene on 020 8907 8249 – marysorene@ntlworld.comwww.sorene.co.uk.

Self-study Theory & Review with Tutorials – a go-it-alone option for those who are self-motivated.

You can purchase a realtime tutorial direct from the USA – Basic Theory book, computer CDs & audio CDs. (Remember to add 4.9% duty, then add 20% VAT!) + $80 (approx) shipping. (Please also check current exchange rates!)


There is currently no training programme available on the Palantype machine. While the term “Palantypist” and “Stenographer” are interchangeable, the layout of keyboard of the two machines are quite different.