Official Intersteno Anthem

Verba Manent – The spoken Word Remains

Intersteno Anthem was officially prepared first time in its history before the 52nd Congress in Cagliari. And it was presented at first in the opening ceremony of the congress. Below you may find the anthem as audio and video, with also lyrics and the notes.

Text: Carlo Eugeni and Hannah Kohl
Music: Matteo Magris.
Orchestra: Banda di Monastir directed by Alessandro Cabras.
Song: Alice Madeddu, soprano.
Choir: MusicàLIS, onder de leiding van Stefania Coccoda en Luciana Ledda.

Official Full Audio:


Intersteno! Intersteno!
Oh, long live Intersteno! (2 times)
Inspired by Tiro preserving Cicero
And by the great transcribers of the modern age
From Sir Gibson to Racine – as Intersteno we convene
To humbly add our own names to the page.


An extended international family
Made of hundreds of friends, collectively
Delegates who discuss our craft respectfully.
Intersteno! Intersteno! Intersteno! Intersteno!


From pencils and papers, to fingers and keys,
To voices and screens and fast minds and machines.
Writing and editing, fingers that fly,
Capturing speech before words can fly by.


“Clever! Open-minded! Alert” is our creed.
We make our advances with thought, care and speed.
Immaculate, accurate, always complete,
With excellent sportsmanship when we compete.
Clackity- Clackity-Clackity-Clackity-CLACK! (4 times)
Clackity- Clackity-Clackity-Clackity-DING!


Verba volant, verba volant,
the spoken word flies away.
Scripta manent, scripta manent,
The written word remains.
But Intersteno captures words
so the spoken word remains!
Verba manent, verba manent
the spoken word remain

The Story of the Intersteno Anthem

At the opening ceremony of the 52nd Intersteno Congress held in Cagliari, the “Banda di Monastir” music band directed by Alessandro Cabras, the “MusicàLIS” deaf choir directed by Stefania Coccoda and Luciana Ledda, and soprano Alice Madeddu premiered the Intersteno anthem, entitled “Verba Manent – The Spoken Word Remains,” written by lyricist Hannah Kohl and myself after a series of suggestions by many Intersteno members and to music by composer Matteo Martis. It was a momentous occasion for the audience, for me of course, and for Intersteno as a whole, because we finally have an anthem which tells the story and values of our Federation to the world. Let me explain here the anthem’s structure and its words. The jingle initiating the anthem is a homage to the famous Europe-wide TV game show Jeux Sans Frontières (“It’s a knockout”), whose features exemplifies the multilingual and cross-cultural identity of many of us. After the countdown and whistle giving a start to the games follow several voices dictating in various languages, immediately followed by the sound of typewriters, which recall the sound of competitions when computer keyboards were not used yet. Typewriters gradually turn into drums and the anthem starts. The first stanza pays tribute to Tiro, a freedman of the great Roman orator Cicero, to whom is attributed the invention of stenography, the technique around which first gathered Sir Gibson and his fellow colleagues in London in 1887 to found Intersteno. Another great figure is Marcel Racine who refounded Intersteno after WW2 and introduced the flag show, which has become an integral part of the Congress opening ceremony. The refrain explains the anthem title. The Latin motto says “Verba Volant Scripta Manent,” which means that the spoken word flies away, while the written word remains. But professionals revolving around Intersteno are able to capture spoken words by writing them down. Hence “Verba Manent.” The second and third stanza describe Intersteno as “an extended international family, made of hundreds of friends collectively” and of “delegates who discuss our craft respectfully”. I think there is no need for further explanations. This Intersteno family has been using different techniques: “from pencils and papers” (shorthand also called stenography) “to fingers and keys” (all forms of typing on a keyboard) “to voices and screens” (respeaking also called voice writing) “and fast minds and machines,” which are the elements needed to capture speech. Finally, the last stanza tells what we do in our professions – with a “clever, open-minded, alert” attitude, we capture words not just quickly (“with thought, care and speed”) but also accurately (“immaculate, accurate, always complete”) – and during championships (“with excellent sportsmanship when we compete”). The last part of the anthem celebrates one of our most well known competitions, Speech Capturing: 15 lines recalling the sound of the typewriting machine (“Clackity Clackity Clackity Clackity Clack”) as in the jingle. Moreover, these lines are gathered into 3 groups (as the number of sections in Speech Capturing), each group ending with a “DING”, the sound of the bell signaling the end of the paper sheet. Finally, each group is sung at increasing speed, another peculiarity of the Speech Capturing competition. A final liberating “Intersteno” brings with it passion, tension, and concentration as when the whistle puts an end to the historical Text Production competition. The lyrics and official version of the anthem are available at the Intersteno official webpage and are copyright free for all Intersteno people.

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