Are there any rules for teaching another character your shorthand? (For example: I am a magus Bonisagi, I want to teach a scribe my shorthand so he can write up my pile of lab texts for Durenmar.)
(0) Talk to your troupe: Does a scribe need the Gift to work out your maga's system of abbreviations? If they say no, continue - otherwise you are out of luck.
(1) Make sure your scribe knows some Magic Theory. He'll need that anyway to copy texts about magic later.
(2) Have your maga invent a very low level spell (level 1 is best) as a side job of her current lab work. She thereby gets a lab text for this spell, too.
(3) Put your scribe with this very low level lab text up in your maga's lab, and have him figure it out by ArM5 p.102. Even if the scribe''s lab total is only Int+Magic Theory, he should finish this task in a season. The maga might keep an eye on her scribe during that time, but this will not take up her season.
(4) And once the scribe has figured out your maga's abbreviations for this one trivial lab text, by ArM5 p.102 he can write out any further lab texts of this maga, as if they were his own.
What penalty to lab productivity would it be if the Magus chose to work longhand instead?
Given a wizard can convert a large amount of material in a season, it shouldn't it be possible if a penalty is applied? Say a penalty of effective lab task difficulty or lab total to represent the extra time?
Oh and in relation the OP to allowing shorthand conversion from a mundane scribe - I'm kind of against the concept, but could be convinced otherwise.
This does not actually work. If you'll read a bit further into page 102 (in fact, if you'll just finish the sentence you appear to have gotten your information from), you'll see that the higher-level lab texts require further translation; he can only translate lab texts as if they were his own if they are of the same level or lower than the one he originally translated. However, you would probably find his services most productive if you had him translate on a gradient, with him translating progressively harder texts, as each consecutively higher-level text he translates will add to the level he can translate, meaning every season will be productive as he reaches ever so slowly towards his goal of being able to translate all your texts.
As for just teaching him your shorthand... I mean, it takes a long time to figure out a magus's shorthand, so it's certainly never an easy thing. I imagine it'd take a significant amount of time to teach or write out. I mean, I write shorthand all the time, and while it wouldn't take me a season, I tell you it'd probably take like half a month to write a thoroughly complete guide to my exact shorthand. Which I myself use! And it's not like I'm writing complex notes on the nature of magic and its processes in a laboratory. So yeah, it's probably not an easy thing to quantify in any case.
And this is all assuming that translating texts is something an unGifted assistant should be able to do, which I certainly don't buy. Copying already-translated texts? That's just writing. But translating them... It doesn't strike me as being the same. Maybe I'm just off my rocker on that, though.
You're right. I read too fast.
Here are a recent couple pages on this: