Practice

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Contents

Learn Plover!

Learn Plover! is a textbook by Zack Brown, based on his steno tutoring sessions with Mirabai Knight. It offers a step-by-step introduction to Plover for beginners, with practice material at the end of every chapter. Volume one has been released, and volume two will be available in the near future.

QwertySteno

QwertySteno is a comprehensive interactive steno tutorial and drilling tool created by Mike Neale, intended for Plover users who are starting from scratch. It offers drills, games, and customizable practice material with personalized stats. All sections work with an n-key rollover keyboard alone. Many also work with Plover running, using either an n-key rollover keyboard or a steno machine.

Plover Dojo

Plover Dojo is a qwerty-based training and drilling site for beginners to Plover, created by Jay Liu and JR. It provides customizable lists of words corresponding to user-selected areas of the steno keyboard, and keeps track of progress made by users.

Hover Plover

This will be a collection of mini-games designed to be an engaging way to learn and practice Plover.

It has two distinct purposes[1]:

  1. To teach steno to total beginners
  2. To give people an incentive to use steno

Eventually, this will be the official way to learn Plover. For the time being, it is under design and development. For the latest news on Hover Plover, see the Plover Blog.

Fly

This is a drilling program to teach steno fundamentals using the qwerty-to-steno layout. It was written by Pragma Nolint and is currently only available for Ubuntu.

Download Fly Here

For more information about Fly, read the Plover Blog post about it.

Steno Typer

This is an interactive web-based steno drilling program by Kitlei Róbert. More information here

Try Steno Typer in your browser

StenoTutor

This is a cross-platform alternative to Fly developed by Emanuele Caruso.

StenoTutor

Anki

An Anki flash card deck has been created to help review the the 3000 most common English words as a flash card deck. Going through these basic flash cards is one way to become familiar with which strokes correspond to which sounds or letters, and to briefs in general. Eventually, this can help learners memorize the most basic and common English words.

The deck is entirely based off the Dictionary included in Plover 2.1.1. It is divided up into levels from 1 to 15, starting at the most common words. On each card, on the front is the common word. Anki gives you a field where you can use Plover to type in the word that you see. Press Enter (or in steno, R-R) and Anki will show you all the briefs that produce the word, starting from the most abbreviated. From there, you can report back to Anki how difficult it was to recall the brief. Anki will schedule the next time that word is shown to you, accordingly.

The deck also includes briefs for phrases (where each word in the phrase is one of the most common 3000 words).

The Steno Anki deck can be downloaded here

Limitations

One limitation to this approach is that it will not teach or correct word boundary errors. Also, rote memorization of steno systems is discouraged[2].

Practice Sentences

A set of Practice Sentences with Common English Words is available. Also, a set of Practice sentences with 2-key words is available for people who want to test Plover, but do not have a mechanical keyboard.

Conventional Books/Texts

Regular books are another way to practice. Children's books are familiar and often use extensive repetition to reinforce words. Novels tend to use everyday vocabulary and offer opportunities to practice briefs for common phrases and fingerspell names and locations. Texts can be a great way to practice higher level vocabulary words, jargon, and practice using meta commands to create compound words.

Stenotypy

This was a lesson manual published in 1915, written by Bailey Tyler Bryan, and is freely available at archive.org. It contains many finger and word exercises, suggestions for practice, and an introduction to stenography in general. Of course, realtime transcription wasn't invented until the 1970s, so it doesn't include long vowels or conflict resolution (where a single steno outline corresponds to more than one English word or phrase). But even so, the example sentences alone are worth the time to dig through [3], and learners will probably get a lot out of it, as long as they're not afraid to change whatever doesn't work for them.[4]

Limitations

Since it was written before realtime, it relies too heavily on syllabic briefs, which can cause word boundary errors. Also, the steno machine they use doesn't appear to have a number bar, so they use the asterisk for numbers. One more thing is that the briefs do not match up with the dictionary included in Plover. So don't actually try to memorize the briefs or do the typing exercises. Read the principles for some basic understanding of how a steno system works. It will be good to have a version of the book with pseudosteno that matches with the plover dictionary, but until some proactive users create a "translation", do not do the exercises unless you want to experience some frustration ;-).

References

  1. http://plover.stenoknight.com/2011/04/hover-plover.html
  2. http://plover.stenoknight.com/2010/06/steno-101-lesson-zero.html
  3. http://plover.stenoknight.com/2011/08/its-been-so-long-but-plentys-been.html
  4. http://groups.google.com/group/ploversteno/browse_thread/thread/6508db9a45b8e5a9/6a5121f825ef1a81?lnk=gst&q=unified+guide#6a5121f825ef1a81
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