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Cognitive and Physical Ergonomics of Translation (ErgoTrans)

In the interdisciplinary project Physical and Cognitive Ergonomics of Translation, researchers from translation studies, occupational therapy, and usability studies have been studying the ergonomic factors that affect professional translators at their workplace.

Professional translators spend much of their day making decisions at a computer. If the flow of information or level of concentration is impaired, the efficiency of the process can be compromised and the quality of the translation can suffer.

Drawing on perspectives from translation studies and occupational health, the present project will address the following research questions:

Ergonomics Matters for Professional Translators!

Consider how improving the ergonomics of your workplace can improve your life and work. We apologize for the sound quality in this video, which was produced under the restricted conditions of the covid-19 lockdown.

Project details

The interdisciplinary research project Cognitive and Physical Ergonomics of Translation, funded by SNF, is a follow-up project of Capturing Translation Processes. The recursive mixed-methods design combines perspectives from

The large corpus of the precursor study is the source of indications of ergonomic issues. Hypotheses about these are tested and refined with on-site ergonomic assessments and recordings of three groups of professional translators with different work profiles as well as with experiments in the usability lab. The results are expected to have implications for


The multi-method design of the research project Cognitive and Physical Ergonomics of Translation includes

Online survey

1,850 professional translators from almost 50 countries completed the survey. Our report about the survey results highlights the differences between translators working in freelance, commercial, and institutional settings.



Team members

Vera Aebischer

Isabel Damiano  (until April 2015)

Annina Meyer (until February 2015)