Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2211-3711
  • E-ISSN: 2211-372X
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This paper reports on an empirical study that investigates the translation process in the workplace from a cognitive ergonomic perspective. In particular, the interaction between ten translators employed by a language service provider and the tools they deploy are examined. To that end, we recorded the translators’ workplace activities using keystroke logging, screen recording and eye tracking, combined with short retrospective interviews. We analysed their behaviour in terms of how they switched between the two screens on their desks, how they used different tools and where they invested their visual attention. Data related to productivity and quality are also presented. Among other findings, our data reveal that validation searches for terms and general expressions lead to considerable tool and task switching among professional translators.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Brunette, Louise , and Sharon O’Brien
    2011 “Quelle ergonomie pour la pratique postéditrice des textes traduits? [Ergonomics and Postediting in Translation].” ILCEA14. AccessedFebruary 14, 2017. ilcea.revues.org/1081.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Cooper, Alan
    2004The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Why High-Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity. Indianapolis, IN: Sams.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Dragsted, Barbara
    2006 “Computer-Aided Translation as a Distributed Cognitive Task.” Pragmatics & Cognition14 (2): 443–464. doi: 10.1075/pc.14.2.17dra
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pc.14.2.17dra [Google Scholar]
  4. Ehrensberger-Dow, Maureen
    2014 “Challenges of Translation Process Research at the Workplace.” InMinding Translation, guestedited by R. Muñoz , 355–383. Special Issue 1 ofMonTi. doi: 10.6035/MonTI.2014.ne1.12.
    https://doi.org/10.6035/MonTI.2014.ne1.12 [Google Scholar]
  5. Ehrensberger-Dow, Maureen , and Andrea Hunziker Heeb
    2016 “Investigating the Ergonomics of the Technologized Translation Workplace.” InReembedding Translation Process Research, edited by R. Muñoz , 69–88. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/btl.128.04ehr
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.128.04ehr [Google Scholar]
  6. Ehrensberger-Dow, Maureen , and Sharon O’Brien
    2015 “Ergonomics of the Translation Workplace: Potential for Cognitive Friction”. Translation Spaces4 (1): 98–118. doi: 10.1075/ts.4.1.05ehr
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ts.4.1.05ehr [Google Scholar]
  7. Federico, Marcello , Alessandro Cattelan , and Marco Trombetti
    2012 “Measuring User Productivity in Machine Translation Enhanced Computer Assisted Translation”. InProceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas (AMTA), San Diego, CA, October 28 – November 1, 2012. AccessedMarch 15, 2017. www.mt-archive.info/AMTA-2012-Federico.pdf.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Harnad, Stevan
    2005 “Distributed Processes, Distributed Cognizers, and Collaborative Cognition.” Pragmatics & Cognition13 (3): 501–514. doi: 10.1075/pc.13.3.06har
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pc.13.3.06har [Google Scholar]
  9. Jakobsen, Arnt L.
    2002 “Translation Drafting by Professional Translators and by Translation Students.” Copenhagen Studies in Language27: 191–204.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Lavault-Olléon, Élisabeth
    2011 “L’ergonomie, nouveau paradigme pour la traductologie” [Ergonomics as a New Paradigm for Translation Studies]. ILCEA14. AccessedFebruary 14, 2017. ilcea.revues.org/1078.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Leijten, Marielle , and Luuk van Waes
    2013 “Keystroke Logging in Writing Research: Using Inputlog to Analyze and Visualize Writing Processes”. Written Communication30 (3): 358–392. doi: 10.1177/0741088313491692
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0741088313491692 [Google Scholar]
  12. O’Brien, Sharon
    2010 “Eye Tracking in Translation Process Research: Methodological Challenges and Solutions.” InMethodology, Technology and Innovation in Translation Process Research, edited by I. Mees , F. Alves , and S. Göpferich , 251–266. Copenhagen: Samfundslitteratur.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. 2012 “Translation as Human-Computer Interaction.” Translation Spaces1 (1): 101–122. doi: 10.1075/ts.1.05obr
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ts.1.05obr [Google Scholar]
  14. Risku, Hanna
    2014 “Translation Process Research as Interaction Research: From Mental to Socio-Cognitive Processes.” InMinding Translation, guestedited by R. Muñoz , 331–353. Special Issue 1 ofMonTi. doi: 10.6035/MonTI.2014.ne1.11
    https://doi.org/10.6035/MonTI.2014.ne1.11 [Google Scholar]
  15. Risku, Hanna , Florian Windhager , and Matthias Apfelthaler
    2013 “A Dynamic Network Model of Translatorial Cognition and Action.” Translation Spaces2 (1): 151–182. doi: 10.1075/ts.2.08ris.
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ts.2.08ris [Google Scholar]
  16. Teixeira, Carlos S. C.
    2014a “Data Collection Methods for Researching the Interaction between Translators and Translation Tools – An ‘Ecological’ Approach.” InThe Development of Translation Competence: Theories and Methodologies from Psycholinguistics and Cognitive Science, edited by J. W. Schwieter and A. Ferreira , 269–286. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. 2014bThe Impact of Metadata on Translator Performance: How Translators Work with Translation Memories and Machine Translation. Doctoral thesis, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Zhang, Jiajie
    1997 “The Nature of External Representations in Problem Solving.” Cognitive Science21 (2): 179–217. doi: 10.1207/s15516709cog2102_3
    https://doi.org/10.1207/s15516709cog2102_3 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error