“Stenographic civilization” Effect of German cursive theory to Japanese,Chinese,Korean and Indonesian” And J.A.Schumpeter’s Stenography

Tsuguo Kaneko (Japan)
Sono Tsuguo Kaneko dal Giappone e il mio intervento sulla civiltà stenografica verterà intorno a quattro temi: il carattere e la lettera sono nati dopo la lingua orale; la tachigrafia è nata come prova dell’oralità; il risultato della stenografia moderna è la teoria corsiva; la stenografia di Schumpeter.
Ai tempi dei geroglifici forme stenografiche coesistevano con le lettere antiche.
Il rinascimento stenografico con la “Characterie” di Bright nel 1588 fu seguito dalla teoria geometrica.
A fine 700 nacque la scuola corsiva in Inghilterra, completata in Germania con Gabelsberger nel 1834 e diffusa alle lingue agglutinanti SOV dall’Eurasia all’Asia, prima in Giappone con Ohba e poi in Cina con Ting Chao e YaWei.
Hirano sviluppò il sistema EPSEMS per il giapponese e l’inglese e Wen sviluppò il sistema stenografico corsivo cinese, la “Stenografia sintetica”.
Ting Chao e Se Ryan svilupparono il sistema stenografico corsivo coreano, seguito da quello indonesiano Groote.
Oggi il termine “speech-to-text technology” racchiude i sistemi di scrittura veloce.
Io ho decifrato il manoscritto stenografico e il promemoria di Joseph Allois Schumpeter, ora disponibile in PDF.
My name is Tsuguo Kaneko from Japan. Today, I am going to report on stenographic civilization.
My plan consisted of four topics. First, character and letter was born after spoken language. Visual language was invented for two purposes. The purpose of one was to produce the spoken evidence. The other was the symbol of power. Second, Tachygraphy was invented for produce evidence of spoken fact. Third, modern stenographic result obtained cursive theory and completed in Germany. Cursive theory translated to foreign languages. In the beginning, it was in Europe and spread to Ural language. Then, it translated into Japanese, Chinese and Korean language. And triple jumping, from Germany, Holland and reached to Indonesia. Fourth, I would like to report Schumpeter’s stenography.
This is my idea of the chronology of stenographic civilization.

Ancient times, mankind invented Hieroglyph. Chinese character changed gradually complex style. Slowly, hieroglyph was changing into flowing style. Japanese cursive Kana took similar procedure. Hieratic and demotic were gradually derived form from hieroglyph. We can find stenographic phenomenon in hieroglyph.

This slide shows ancient Tironian note. Stenography in ancient times co-existed with letter. Tironian note is one of the intangible cultural assets in the world. The ancient letters resemble Tironian note very much.

Second period was stenographic renaissance. “Characterie” by Timothe Bright in 1588 was a revival of such ancient Tachygraphy. Strange to say, Bright’s alphabet resembles Phoenician alphabet.


Stenography is defined as one of speech to text methods under the comprehensive concept of letter and character.

After stenographic renaissance, geometric theory was developed at first in Line-writing stenography in which straight lines and arcs adopted as basic signs.

In stenography, geometric theory has achieved high performance to code word spelling. But, challengers to write naturally aimed cursive theory. Cursive school has its origin in England and German completed cursive theory finally.

The first cursive theory was observed in the book by Simon Bordley in 1787.In 1802, Richard Roe developed clearly cursive script in his publication.

Franz Xaver Gabelsberger established cursive concept in his original system. As well as geometric system, Gabelsberger achieved high speed writing by his cursive system, and his verbatim style was released in 1834.

German cursive theory was handed down in German speaking world in the beginning. Second, it spread to the same descent countries. Then it spread to the other descent, for example Ural language. After all, it gradually to exotic countries by the triple jumping. German cursive theory applied to agglutinative language and SOV word order languages. Gabelsberger-Markovits system for Hungarian / Magyar was developed by Ivan Markovits in 1841. Nevanlinna adopted Gabelsberger theory for Finnish in 1872.

If Leonardo da Vinci had known stenography, what stenography would he have invented? He seems to like vertical line very much.

German cursive was introduced to the eastern part of Eurasia. Asian and far east Asian languages are quite different from European language. Western stenographic civilization gave much impact to Asia. For example, Pen writing motion order, concept of phonetics and so on.

The former, writing order column that is “up to down” and “left to right” standard made perfectly changed Japanese style to Western style now.

A viscount Mohri developed the first Japanese cursive “Mohri system” based on Faulmann system in 1919 after 30 years passed from start. A parliament reporter wrote this script. Mohri designed consonants and vowels mainly by line strokes. Also he created the method to reduce the load to write vowels.

“Intersteno” is another value which is the artificial letter for speed writing by Kunovski. Some Japaneses, who are Esperantists, tried to adopt its theory for Japanese. Itaru Ohba challenged to design “Instersteno” to Japanese in 1931. This was the first try.

Cursive Portuguese version of Stloze was applied to Japanese by J.A. Degen in 1930.

Prof. Yan Ting Chao is the father of cursive system in China. He contributed much for Chinese stenography as well as prof. Tang YaWei. They respectively developed the first Chinese cursive systems in 1952. Being influenced from Russian GESS, Sakalof system.

Mr. Akihito Hirano, he mastered several Japanese stenography systems as following  Waseda, Nakane, Ishimura, and Morita system. Then Gregg, Pitman, Takusari76, V systems. And now he developed a new EPSEMS system for Japanese and English. Hirano is a genius in stenography.

The first Chinese stenography system was geometric system in 1896. The old gentleman, in the front row, second person from the right is Mr. Cai Zhang. He was the second son of the inventor of Chinese stenography, Cai Xi Yong.

GESS was the unified system in Soviet. As DEK was based on Gabelsberger. GESS was developed on the basis of the Sokolov system.

fter ending the Pacific War, Russian stenography introduced to China. Next year, prof. Yan Ting Chao and prof. Tang Ya Wei respectively developed the first Chinese cursive systems and released in the journal of 1952.

The joint study to develop new theory made a fruit in “3 Y system” by prof. Yan Ting Chao, prof. Yawei and prof. Yan De Qin.

Prof. Yan Ting Chao developed “Renmin Xin Suji Fangen”. Yan designed basic alphabet based on phonetics of Chenese as phoneme unit. Also he took the method in symbolizing vowels by strokes, longer and shorter strokes and small circles.

Prof. Tang Ya Wei also developed “Gon Nong Hua Suji Fangan”.

Prof. Yan Ting Chao compared early three systems. Tang means Prof. Tang Ya Wei. And Laozu means cursive Chinese Stenography system.

This is the basic alphabet named “Synthetic stenography” by Su Wen. In this system Su designed cursive and half cursive mixed.

Korea is the only one country that succeeded to enforce and firmly established the artificial phonogram Hangul in the world.

A Chinese professor Yan Ting Chao developed cursive Korean stenography system with Om Se Ryan who lived in the Self-governing Korean of China.

Stenographic civilization flows in the world, like as this slide.

While colonial period, Groote system was introduced to Indonesia. It stimulated to develop stenography for Indonesian. “Grenderen system” seems to be most early one. In 1968, The government authorized “Karundeng system” as the standard stenography in Indonesia.

Tachygraphy, stenography, steno CAT, CART, concept is still changing. Today we call it speech to text technology.In this figure by Birgit Nofts many expressions exist.

1981 Intersteno congress gave me a chance to meet Mr. Steno Lion, the former Manfred Kehrer. Several years later, Dr. Shin-Ichi Uraki requested me to decipher the stenographic manuscript and memorandum written by Joseph Allois Schumpeter. I wrote two letters to East and West Germany. Mr. Kehrer introduced me Mr. Heym. Everything went well. Uraki completed his work and published a book. And all of data of Schumpeter’s manuscript and steno memo was given to me. Completing to digitalize all steno data in PDF. This is a sample of Schumpeter’s steno script in his work. You can get a DVD from me now. Today I brought some DVD copies. I hope you would study his work now.

Thank you very much for listening my report.                Tsuguo.kaneko(at)gmail.com



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