Ergonomics and translation workplaces

Maureen Ehrensberger-Dow
Zurich University of Applied Sciences

Table of contents

The activity of producing translations, in all variations from literature through patient information leaflets to subtitles, does not occur in isolation in a single translator’s mind independent of that individual’s physical setting. It necessarily involves tools, from those as traditional as pen and paper to complex technology that combines translation memory with adaptive neural Machine translation. Anyone who has been involved in the activity of translation in the last decade or two is aware that it has become inseparable from access to electronic resources, language technology, and human-computer interaction. The latter is often addressed within the discipline of ergonomics, which more broadly is concerned with “understanding the interactions among humans and other elements of a system”, as defined by the International Ergonomics Association (IEA). In the case of translation, the other elements of the system include not only source texts, parallel texts, various types of resources, software, computers, and other equipment but also the physical, social, and organizational setting in which the translator is situated or embedded.

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Further essential reading

Ehrensberger-Dow, Maureen
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