Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What is realtime? Instantaneous verbatim translation of the spoken word into text by a realtime-trained court reporter/captioner at speeds exceeding 225 words per minute with 98% accuracy or higher.
  1. What does the acronym CART stand for? CART is an acronym for Communication Access Realtime Translation.
  1. What is CART captioning? Communication Access Realtime Translation is a word-for-word speech-to-text translation of all spoken words and environmental sounds facilitated through a CART Captioner trained in conveying a speaker’s message complete with environmental cues. Unlike computerized notetaking, speed typing, abbreviation systems or other interpretation services, CART captioning empowers consumers to decide for themselves what information is important to them.
  1. How does the steno keyboard work?
    • The steno machine keyboard is most similarly compared to a piano keyboard.
    • Pressing one key on the piano plays a note. Pressing one key on the steno keyboard makes a word or a sound.
    • Pressing several keys at once on a piano plays a chord. Pressing several keys at once on the steno keyboard plays a word, sound, syllable, or several words as a shorthand “brief” code.
    • We write phonetically & syllabically.
    • Initial consonant sounds and prefixes are made with the left hand.
    • Final consonant sounds, suffixes/word endings are made with the right hand.
    • 11 different diphthongs are made with combinations of the vowel bank keys.
    • The asterisk is used to make corrections or additional variations of strokes.
    • Numbers are made by pressing the number bar with any first row key.
  1. How are steno strokes translated into English text? Stenographic “notes” written on a computerized steno shorthand machine are transmitted through a cable or via Bluetooth to a computer dictionary database and translated into English text within seconds
  1. What causes errors?
  1. Misstrokes or Fat Finger Days! One too many or one too few keys stroked in an entry (because keys are only mms apart) can cause misstrokes with embarrassing results! We are ONLY human! MKZ is a brief shorthand code for mad cow disease vs MKS is the brief shorthand code for Michael Jackson. The Z and S keys are millimeters apart and could be accidentally misstroked.
  2. Word Boundary Mistranslates! Sometimes suffixes and prefixes attach to the wrong words. Some examples:
    • rely sensed vs relicensed
    • forest toring vs for restoring
    • Morgue Anacin Claire vs Morgan Sinclair
    • theatre caliper former vs theatrical performer
  3. Unstranslates! When the computer dictionary database does not contain a text match with a steno stroke, a default phonetic table will phonetically translate a stroke. For example, FUJ may appear for the word fudge
  4. Overstroking or Stacking! The keys on the steno machine don’t release quickly enough and a second stroke is written in the same electronic “space” as the first causing two strokes in one. This happens sometimes if words are spoken very quickly. Some examples:
    • want TOUS go = want US TO go
    • ask TOD pay = askeD TO pay
    • wonder DOG I need = wonderING DO I need
  1. In what settings is this technology used? Realtime captioning is viewed at conventions, church services, corporate meetings, educational classes, television broadcasts, opening/closing ceremonies, sporting events, workshops/seminars, legal proceedings, webcasts, YouTube, teleconference calls.

    It is also used by persons with cognitive or motor challenges, as a teaching aid for learning English as a second language, where rough edit “transcript” files are requested, as a complement to interpreters and transliterators, field trips and museum tours, and communication access to remote locations.

  1. Why use remote captioning vs onsite captioning?
  1. Distance is too great for providing onsite CART – eg. isolated location
  2. Time does not permit travel to be on site – last minute requests
  3. No added travel costs for consumer – eg. No mileage or per diems
  4. Consumer preference – consumer may not want the CART Captioner on location with them
  5. Multiple locations needing simultaneous captioning
  1. When is remote CART captioning challenging? When the captioner has poor audio quality and can’t hear clearly to what is being said at the event location.
  1. What are some benefits to viewing CART captioning? Ability to jot down notes of subject matter mentioned, increased memory retention, Increased vocabulary & comprehension, allows full group participation, boosts self-esteem
  1. Besides the words spoken, what else is contained in the realtime captioned text being viewed? Speaker identification, environmental sounds such as fire alarms, microphone feedback, outside noises, phones ringing, public address system announcements, music playing, with lyrics when possible, laughter/cheering/applause, speaking in languages other than English
  1. What does it take to become a CART captioner?
    • Graduation from an accredited court reporting/captioning school with 225 words per minute at 98% accuracy as an entry-level court reporter.
    • Training to become a captioner can take an additional two to five years to attain the speed and accuracy and dictionary translation database development required for captioning.
    • Captioners also need to be quick thinking, love words, have a large knowledge base, be well-read, have a very high brain-processing ability at breakneck speeds in stressful situations … and knowledge on EVERYTHING in the whole, WIDE world ... and how it’s spelled ... in less than a second!
  1. What are the credentials and acronyms attained by captioners? Find out more here.
  1. What is required by the CART captioning consumer/viewer to receive remote CART captioning at their location?
  1. Computer with high-speed, stable internet access (Hard-wired internet for best results. Stable, high bandwidth wireless internet acceptable)
  2. Email access (before the event) to receive the URL link
  3. Emergency phone contact and/or cell phone for texting capabilities during the event
  4. Skype, if that is the audio feed being used by the captioner to hear at the event location
  5. Provide excellent audio. If the captioner can hear what is being said, you will have a very good captioning experience!
  1. What are the different ways the remote CART captioner can access the audio to hear what is being said at the event location?
  1. Direct audio feed from the PA sound system in the conference room connected to a Gentner audio coupler, soundboard and telephone line
  2. Videoconferencing system
  3. Teleconference call phone number that the CART captioner dials into
  4. Conference “spider” speakerphone that the CART captioner dials into
  5. Wireless lapel omnidirectional mic/receiver worn by the person(s) speaking or wired room microphones
  6. Microphone on the consumer’s receiving computer
  7. Using VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) aka SKYPE
  8. Cell phone passed around as a roving microphone
  1. What preparation material does the CART captioner require to prepare their dictionary translation database?
  1. Meeting agenda or event program
  2. Prior meeting minutes, if applicable
  3. Event speaking notes, keynote speaker PowerPoints
  4. Names of chair/moderator, and names of meeting participants, names of keynote speakers, names of panel members, name of instructor/professor and student
  5. Any industry-related vocabulary including names, spellings, acronyms, topics, etc. to be discussed
  6. Teleconference call-in numbers
  7. Contact cell number for captioning consumer and/or AV technician onsite
  8. Skype username if using Skype for audio access
  1. How does StreamText, the streaming text program work?
  1. What are some of the benefits to using StreamText?
  1. It is easy to use, flexible and reliable. Reduces barriers to adopting technology. Take “I.T.” out of the loop!
  2. It is compatible with all major browsers on the market
  3. No FLASH or Java required. Does not require special ports or hard-coded IP addresses
  4. Simple controls for setting viewing preferences
  5. Natural text flow – easier to read and follow
  6. Has built-in instant messenger chat feature
  7. Can accommodate one to 100,000 viewers
  1. How secure is StreamText.net software? It is firewall friendly and secure. It has full encryption of text from source to customer, eg. HTTPS encryption. Events can be password protected.
  1. What are some StreamText viewing features?
  1. Opens in any web browser: Internet Explorer, FireFox, Chrome, Safari
  2. Text can be viewed from any device that supports standard HTML: iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android, Netbook
  3. Consumer can select fonts, colours, and themes
  4. Integrated Chat built into StreamText
  5. Check out the Demonstration Event and see for yourself: http://www.streamtext.net/player?event=IHaveADream