Théodore-Pierre Bertin

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Théodore-Pierre Bertin (2 November 1751 25 January 1819) was the author of fifty-odd works on various subjects, but is primarily remembered as the person responsible for adapting Samuel Taylor's shorthand to the French language and introducing modern shorthand to France.

Taylor shorthand geometric shorthand published in Britain by Samuel Taylor in 1786

The system of geometric shorthand published in Britain by Samuel Taylor in 1786, under the title An essay intended to establish a standard for an universal system of Stenography, or Short-hand writing, was the first shorthand system to be used across the English-speaking world. Taylor shorthand uses an alphabet of 19 letters of simplified shape. His book was translated and published in France by Théodore-Pierre Bertin in 1792 under the title Système universel et complet de Stenographie ou Manière abrégée d'écrire applicable à tous les idiomes.

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Born at Provins (Seine-et-Marne) to Louis Bertin, a parliamentary lawyer, and Louise Mitantier, Bertin taught English before travelling to London to work as a translator. He studied Taylor shorthand during his time in Britain and, on returning to Paris in 1791, translated into French Taylor's book An essay intended to establish a standard for a universal system of Stenography, or Short-hand writing, publishing it in 1792 under the title Système universel et complet de Stenographie ou Manière abrégée d'écrire applicable à tous les idiomes (A complete and universal system of stenography or an abbreviated manner of writing applicable to all languages). In 1795, the French National Convention gave him an annual grant to continue this work. His book went into a second edition in 1795, a third in 1796 and a fourth in 1803. He continued to work for the government during the Directory, but the Consulate and First Empire did not employ his services. Under the Restauration, he established a stenographic service for the French Parliament and took a government post in the administration of business licenses (Régie des Droits Réunis). In 1817, he had become stenographer for the conservative journal Le Moniteur Universel . He died, aged 67, in Paris.

Provins Subprefecture and commune in Île-de-France, France

Provins is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France.

Seine-et-Marne Department of France

Seine-et-Marne is a French department, named after the Seine and Marne rivers, and located in the Île-de-France region.

English language West Germanic language

English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. Named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that would later take their name, England, both names ultimately deriving from the Anglia peninsula in the Baltic Sea. It is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse, and to a greater extent Latin and French.

Bertin's shorthand

Despite its roots, Bertin's system was not especially fast, but it did have the advantage of being highly readable. Each sound had a very distinctive symbol, largely carried over from Taylor's system, and added a few more symbols for final vowels. Also, like Talyor, Bertin eliminated all vowels that were neither at the beginning nor end of a word. This caused some ambiguity, but it did enable stenographers to write at the pace of speech. Composed of 16 basic letters, plus initials and finals, Bertin's scheme was the first that could be written without ever lifting the pen. It also employed abbreviations and initials to save time with common words. His method was ultimately substantially improved by Hippolyte Prévost and later by Albert Delaunay.


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