Tips for Fast Note-Taking, Part#1 Initials&Abbreviations


Note-taking should be considered as a talent or as a product of a hard work. Taking notes is easy; however, the point is ‘can you recall them later?’. If you study/studied interpreting a little bit, you know what I mean. Especially in consecutive interpreting, you take notes but when you go to top to interpret your notes, you just have no idea about what is written there. There may be some symbols, some abbreviations… If you want use different symbols for different words, stick to them; do not change them for every interpreting. For example, if you use “X” for negative words like cancel, don’t, isn’t, disapprove, disagree etc., do not use it for something else like “5times=5X”.

Fast note taking helps you not only for interpreting but also for conferences and lectures that you attend.

In this part of my article, I will write some basic initials and abbreviations. I hope they help.

w/                          with

w/o                        without

w/i                         within

i.e.                         that is

e.g.                        for example

etc.                        so forth

b/c                         because

b/4                        before

re:                          regarding, about

esp.                       especially

min.                      minimum

max.                     maximum

gov’t                      government

asap                      as soon as possible

wrt                         write

rt                            right

yr, yrs                   year, years

c.                            circa, from the year

vs                           versus

ch                           chapter

q&a                        question and answer

ex                           example

wd                         word

ref                          reference

diff                         difference


In the next post, I will go over some basic symbols for note taking. Follow us on Facebook!

I want to thank my Consecutive Interpreting lecturer for this information.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Alina Salvat on January 5, 2012 at 15:13

    As a legal and medical Interpreter, I’m very happy to see many of the same shortcuts I use successfully. Great job! A


  2. Posted by Janeth Murillo on January 11, 2012 at 05:16

    I too use some of the same abreviations! Thank you much for sharing this with us!


  3. Posted by Marlene on March 3, 2012 at 20:10

    From my university years; t= the, k=knowledge, ppl=people, ss=students, T=teacher. The idea of speed writing is to eliminate unessential vowels. When I’m faced with a frequently repeated long word: I gloss it in the margins using my newly created abbreviation until I learn it and can easily access it.


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