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47 Kongress Ghent
The 49th Intersteno Congress took place
in Ghent on July 13 - 19, 2013


Program »
Final results »



















At the beginning of our report of the Intersteno Congress, we would like to express our genuine admiration of the wonderful, fantastic, fairy town of Ghent. Judge for yourselves.




















30 countries participated in the 49th Intersteno Congress: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Cameroon, Canada, Cyprus, China, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, the USA, Turkey, Uruguay, Finland, France, Croatia, Switzerland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Ethiopia, South Korea, Japan.

It was the fifth Congress that the delegation of GZOS had participated in. Traditionally, the Congress began with the Opening ceremony.


The last seconds before the Opening ceremony. You can only see part of the audience.





The participants were greeted by high-ranking guests: the Governor of Flanders and the Mayor of Ghent. They both spoke German, English and French fluently.
Their greetings were followed by a varied concert programme which included pieces of classical music and a Russian dance ďkazachokĒ (hardly recognizable, though) as well as a performance of a modern youth band, who use everything that gets into their hands as musical instruments.








After the Opening ceremony which was held at UFO UGhent, all the participants moved to Artevelde Universite Colledge Gent for a Welcome drink. This second Congress venue is just 15-minutesí walk away.
The grand procession of several thousands of people from all over the world marching along the town streets with their national flags in hands made an unforgettable impression on the participants themselves and also caused a genuine interest of the residents of Ghent who happened to be there at that time.


A Russian representative Nora Berezina (in the centre) with representatives of the Czech Republic (left) and Turkey (right).


Our foreign colleagues were happy to see us again. We were really pleased to know that they remembered us and had very warm feelings towards us. We exchanged souvenirs. Our gifts were painted wooden whistles.




As usual, exhibitions were held in the framework of the Congress.
Below you can see French, American, Korean and other stenotypesÖ




The focal point this year was the VELOTYPE:










The principles of working on a velotype are similar to the ones on a stenotype. A velotype keyboard reminds a computer keyboard, letters are written on the keys (naturally, the Roman alphabet).


This is also a velotype, antique stylized.


This year we didnít participate in the competitions or the conferences, so we devoted time to communication with our foreign colleagues. Naturally, we spoke about the information processing, its present, future, and prospects of development.


In the photo Helena Matushkova-Zaviachikova with a colleague from the Czech Republic

We spoke about the changes of the secretarial responsibilities currently taking place worldwide. The responsibilities of modern secretaries now mainly include non-documentary service, escort and representation. The traditional secretarial responsibilities are currently carried out by all managers themselves. Keyboarding has become an above-professional skill, everyone can type on a keyboard. Is this true about Russia, too?


L.Jan den Holder (the Netherlands) and Olga Kotenko with the Russian flag

The speed of modern life makes us do things not just fast, but instantly. That is why in many countries there are specialists who can create real-time documents using different techniques. These specialists are called reporters.
According to Jan den Holder (an Intersteno Jury member), in the Netherlands, for example, reporters record speakers in real time using speech recognition programmes, many try to reach a high speed on a computer keyboard, but the ďheroĒ of the last Congress Ė the velotype Ė also comes from Holland.


In the photo our German colleagues: Boris Neubauer and Monika Disser (in the centre) and the delegation of GZOS(from left to right):Irina Potyagova, Nora Berezina and Olga Kotenko

We discussed ways of development of shorthand with Boris and Monika. There seems to appear a chance to start comprehending and writing down the history of the Russian-Soviet shorthand. The German colleagues promised to publish our articles in specialized journals.


In the photo Gian Paolo Trivulzio (Italy)
At the Congress he introduced his book devoted to the 125-year-long history of INTERSTENO

Lots of people from many countries worldwide participate in the Congress, competitions and conferences. Participating in the competitions is prestigious for the competitors and their teachers and also for countries and cities they represent. How could we make these patterns work in Russia as well?
GZOS has been offering to teach to work on a stenotype for almost three years, but there doesnít seem to be any interest. Setting off to the Congress, we decided to find out what is it that we are doing wrong, what information we donít convey to students? What should we do to arouse an interest?


We addressed Simone Bardot from France



and Linda Drake from the USA with the same questions:

1. Which of the existing techniques of recording speech in real time do you think is currently the best?
2. What is the attitude of the public to the job (reporters) in your country? How well is it paid? Is there a great demand for the specialists?

Simone said that in her opinion the most reliable and consequently the best technique is the stenotype. Specialists are in great demand. The payment is 130-140 euros per hour (in comparison, a lawyer in France earns about 200 euros per hour). Her company gets so many orders that she doesnít need any additional advertising.
In France you can start learning to type on a stenotype after you get a bachelorís degree at least. The course lasts not less than 4 years. The level of the education received is equivalent to a Masterís degree or a second higher education. The course includes a lot of practice.
A qualified stenotypist must be able to represent the record for publishing in 2 hours after the session is over, which means it must be corrected, checked and confirmed by every speaker.
Unfortunately, although there is a great demand for the job and the payment is quite high, the job is not amongst the prestigious ones in France.






Answering the first question (which technique in her opinion is the best) Linda said that itís not the technique but the qualification of a reporter that counts. Thatís quite reasonable!
Considering that Linda works with a stenomask, she continued to speak about that very technique.
A stenomask is a microphone, in which a reporter repeats a speakerís speech, and a special programme recognizes the text. The main drawback of that technique is that it canít always be used, for example a reporter canít always be placed next to a speaker considering the features of the device and principles of working with it (a reporter repeats a speakerís speech into the mask).
On the plus side is the fact that learning to work with a stenomask is quite fast, the course lasts from 6 to 12 months in the US. One can start learning after school, the most important is that a person should have a good knowledge of the language he is going to work on.
Answering the second question, Linda said with confidence that in the US the job of a reporter is very prestigious, very respected and very well paid (up to $95,000 per year). An hour of work costs about $50, and the consequent processing, edition and so on cost about additional $300 per hour.




Although our communication at the Congress was interesting and informative, can we say we got answers to our questions? Yes and no. Judge for yourselves.
To our great regret, itís impossible yet to compare different techniques of writing down speech in the Russian language. There are no techniques. Or probably there is nothing to write down?


The most pleasant mission at the Congress was getting the awards for our Internet competitors.
We would like to remind their names once again.
Artem Yagunov Ė two first places and two gold medals in the competitions in the mother tongue and multilingual competitions in the age category up to 12 years old.


This is the pedestal where Artem was to stand.
Yana Polyuk was rewarded with a silver medal for taking second place in the multilingual competitions in the age category of 13-16 yeas old!


This empty second place pedestal was to be occupied by Yana Polyuk.
In the age category of 17-20 years old first place in the multilingual competitions was taken by Oleg Omelchenko and second place by Stanislav Yagunov




Olga Kotenko with Olegís and Stanislavís awards.
What a pity that the guys didnít go to Ghent. But by the way, Sean Wrona wasnít present at prize-giving, either.
In the photo below you can see the moment of award-giving to the winners of the Internet competitions in the mother tongue in the age category of over 21 years old. A member of the US delegation got awards for Sean.


The current Intersteno President Dr. Fausto Ramondelli congratulated the Russian winners and participants of the Internet competitions.


He wished them good luck in the future and invited to take part not only in Internet competitions.
If you want to accept the invitation, itís time to start getting ready for the competitions./
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