Since the dawn of time, recording and keeping a written record of speeches, addresses or conferences has been a necessity. There has always been a need to fix ephemeral words on paper. It was with a view to meeting this need that velotypy came into being in 1930.
It is a method of writing very quickly in order to get as close as possible to the speed of speech. Today, it is used for live captioning of speakers. It is useful when there are people in the audience who are hard of hearing or when the translation has to appear “live” on a screen.
Inspired by stenotypy, it functions like a piano and is based on a new kind of computer keyboard, the Velotype keyboard. Thanks to its special shape, the user presses several keys at the same time to write syllables rather than letters alone. Then, thanks to a software program, the syllables are organized and ordered to display a correct word directly on the screen. Thanks to this technique, it is possible to type more than 150 words per minute. However, it still doesn’t reach the speed of speech. It sometimes requires a more exhaustive restitution and leads to a delay of several seconds to make a coherent whole but not very well adapted to interactive exchanges.
Few people practice velotypy due to lack of training and therefore few companies offer this service. Even if the development of new technologies such as voice recognition are competing with it, it still has an irreplaceable asset: the Human being. Indeed, the computer can confuse words with the same pronunciation and does not possess human consciousness.
We conclude this article with an anecdote. The Velotypy has been much talked about recently in France and made a lot of mockery. Indeed, on March 12, 2020, in order to transcribe his speech calling for containment, Emmanuel Macron used this process for the first time. Some sentences being erroneous and incomprehensible, as good mockers, the French have made many jokes that have led to funny publications on social networks.
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