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How to Teach Yourself Teeline Shorthand

Updated July 20, 2017

"Hv nic da," may not be the clearest way to write "have a nice day," but it is much faster when written in teeline. Teeline shorthand differs from other forms of shorthand in that it is based around spelling rather than phonetics. This makes teeline easier to translate, but without practice, your words can look like muddled gibberish. Teeline shorthand takes diligence to learn properly, but can make any form of note taking or transcription much easier and faster.

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  1. Review the teeline alphabet by studying letters to the point where you can identify them quickly. Much like learning the alphabet is a step that must be taken before learning to read, the teeline alphabet must also be memorised.

  2. Practice writing individual letters until you can identify your letters by sight. Pay special attention to letters such as "e" and "i" which are easily confused in teeline. You will often use only a few letters to represent each word in teeline shorthand, so if one letter is mistranslated, it can change the entire word.

  3. Write actual words, making sure they are legible and translatable. The point of shorthand is to save time, so use only enough letters to make it clear what word you're translating. Learn what common letters, such as vowels or diphthongs, are unnecessary and can be omitted when writing full words.

  4. Write more quickly and work to increase your speed while never sacrificing legibility. Begin with common verbs and nouns to learn quick ways to write out common syllables that will be used often.

  5. Practice writing teeline shorthand from an actual speech using television, radio or another person. Translate your completed text and see how closely it mirrors the source. Be diligent and keep going until your text is close enough to the original that it serves as an accurate translation.

  6. Tip

    If you are the only person who will be transcribing your shorthand, it's OK to make changes to the alphabet for your benefit. You can also make unique symbols for commonly used words or technical terms. Much of learning to write in teeline is preference. Some may use "da" for day, but others might find "dy" clearer. There's no right or wrong answer, just what the writer finds easiest. Context can help with translation. If you encounter the teeline word "da" and are unclear of the translation, look at words around it. If the preceding word is "sny," for example, the obvious translation would be "sunny day." Articles such as "a" can often be done away with in teeline shorthand.

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About the Author

Matthew Lieber has been a professional copywriter and editor for more than 5 years. He previously worked in the public relations sector, as well as in online marketing. Lieber holds bachelor's degrees in journalism and political science.

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