Forthcoming events:

KäTu2023: Translation/Interpreting and Sustainability, XX Symposium on Translation and Interpeting Studies

Keynote speaker: Dr. Séverine Hubscher-Davidson

13-15 April 2023

University of Turku


The world of work in the twenty-first century is characterised by insecurity and rapid processes of change. While the United Nations urgently called for a focus on decent, sustainable, and productive employment (2015), the unstable labour markets across the world have had a detrimental impact on worker wellbeing. Various crises over the last few years have exacerbated this trend (Covid-19, cost-of-living crisis), and current working life is threatened by health risks including mental overload and stress (Sjöblom 2020). For professional translators, intensive interactions with digital tools and unrealistic productivity demands are additional and prevalent health risks impairing their career sustainability. In this context, it seems useful to turn to a new area of research in the field of sustainability science: the psychology of sustainability and sustainable development. This research area recognises that psychological processes are embedded in decisions and behaviours concerning personal, social, organizational, and cross-cultural environments (Di Fabio 2022). With an emphasis on opportunity, growth, and resource regeneration, the psychology of sustainability perspective entails learning to manage psychological resources in ways required by current working life. Drawing on feedback from several training workshops aiming to develop translators' psychological strengths, this talk will present a promising framework for the development of new sustainability strategies and tools that can promote healthy individuals, organizations, and a healthier translation profession in years to come.



Di Fabio, A. (2022). ‘The Psychology of Sustainability in Organizations: A New Scenario for Healthy Organizations, Healthy Business, Harmonization, and Decent Work’. In Cross-cultural Perspectives on Well-Being and Sustainability in Organizations (pp. 3-13). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Sjöblom, K. (2020). Flourishing in 21st century workplaces: How to support knowledge workers’ productivity and well-being in modern environments. Doctoral dissertation. Helsinki Studies in Education-Kasvatustieteellisiä tutkimuksia.

United Nations. (2015). ‘Sustainable development: The 17 goals’. Accessed 22 Feb 2023.


Previous events:

Stress management for professional linguists: Opening event on the “Future of the profession”

Speaker: Dr. Séverine Hubscher-Davidson

30 September 2022

The United Nations Office in Vienna (UNOV)


Communicating myriad emotions across cultures: A perspective from translator studies

Speaker: Dr. Séverine Hubscher-Davidson

14 June 2022

The University of Leeds


In 2004, Hu proposed the term “translator studies” to refer to all research that places translators at the centre of focus, including work on the translator’s subjective involvement. This presentation will address translator’s subjective involvement through the lens of emotions. Emotions are complex phenomena comprising experiential, behavioural, and physiological components. They vary depending on context, culture, and individual differences, and they can influence planning, decision-making, and goal-setting. As such, they permeate all aspects of a translator’s work. Drawing on the affective psychology literature and translators’ published accounts, this presentation will explore some common and some unique experiences of recreating myriad emotions across cultures. In this way, the presentation aims to highlight and make more visible what Chesterman (2021, 244) called “the key human elements of translation”.


Chesterman, Andrew. 2021. “Translator studies.” In Handbook of Translation Studies: Volume 5, edited by Yves Gambier and Luc van Doorslaer, 241-246. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Hu, Genseng. 2004. “Translator-centredness.” Perspectives 12 (2): 106–117.


Navigating a pandemic: The psychological sustainability of language professionals

Speaker: Dr. Séverine Hubscher-Davidson

03 & 04 May 2022

Symposium of the Study Group on Language and the United Nations


The third and eighth SDG goals promote well-being and decent work, but the pandemic reinforced the need for language professionals to take care of their physical and mental health. Drawing on the narratives of professional translators and interpreters over the last two years, I will explore some of the challenges of working/translating through a public health crisis from the perspective of psychological sustainability. I will highlight the essential role that multilinguals (and not just multilingualism) must play in future stakeholder initiatives, and outline some people-centred systemic solutions that can contribute to post-pandemic development.


Improving the Emotional Intelligence of Translators with a Training Intervention

Speaker: Dr. Séverine Hubscher-Davidson

09 February 2022 / 1-2pm (UK time)

Newcastle University


“We are not robots” - On developing the emotional intelligence of translators

Speaker: Dr. Séverine Hubscher-Davidson

11-13 June 2021

7th International Conference on Cognitive Research on Translation and Interpreting (ICCRTI)


In the last few years, emotional competencies have received increasing attention from translation and interpreting scholars who posit that it can be an important predictor of behaviour and influence work performance and satisfaction (Georgiou and Perdikaki 2020; Hubscher-Davidson 2013, 2016, 2017; Lehr and Hvelplund 2021; Ruiz Rosendo 2020). While the role of emotions on the work of language professionals has been recognised for some time, one might argue that the teaching of emotional skills has not (yet) been meaningfully or substantively integrated in T&I classrooms or professional development courses. However, evidence from successful emotional intelligence (EI) training programmes in the areas of clinical, health, social, educational, organisational, and developmental psychology indicate that translators’ emotional competencies can also be developed through a relatively brief tailor-made training intervention. In this talk, I will present a carefully designed 18-hour EI intervention that was recently delivered to eleven translation professionals in a bid to improve their emotional functioning, psychological well-being, and professional success. Preliminary findings confirm that cultivating emotional intelligence capacities is essential in cross-cultural contexts, and that acquiring and enhancing one’s soft skills is critical when responding to rapid changes taking place in the translation professions.

Enquiries can be made here: 


Emotions and the Translation Professions: Online Symposium

21 May 2021 / 10am-4pm (UK time)

The Open University


The role that emotions play in the practice of translating and interpreting has attracted increasing attention in recent years. Already in 1996, Jääskeläinen observed that affective variables, be they personal involvement, commitment, motivation, or attitude, may impact translational behaviour. It is only relatively recently, however, that scholars have begun to explore the myriad ways that the translation process and product can be influenced by the presence of affect, the term used in psychology to refer to emotions that influence one’s thinking and actions. Following the affective turn in the field of psychology (e.g. Damasio 2003; Gendron and Barrett 2009; Sander and Scherer 2009), Translation Studies can be said to have trodden a similar path, with a number of recent publications addressing this topic albeit focusing on multiple genres and practices, and applying different perspectives, approaches, and methodologies: empirical, narrative, textual, and theoretical, to name but a few. This multiplicity of approaches to the study of emotions and translation is enriching and reflected in the diverse nature of the contributions of this online symposium.

Details of speakers and topics from this event can be found here.


Threlford Lecture: Psychological Capital and Sustainability in the Language Professions

Speaker: Dr. Séverine Hubscher-Davidson

Friday 12 March 2021
15:15 – 16:00 (UK time)

CIOL Conference 2021


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) published in 2016 aimed to create a people-centred and aspirational development agenda. Of particular relevance to the language professions, are the third and eighth SDG goals which promote well-being and decent work, alongside economic growth. Taking care of one’s physical and mental health has thus become a key concern for working professionals. This is no easy task, however, in today’s competitive business environment where occupational stressors are rife. To maintain their psychological health, linguists need to be able to draw on—and optimize—their personal resources, a process problematized in terms of psychological capital in the organizational literature. Indeed, linguists’ psychological resources can be viewed as a kind of ‘capital’ that can lead to successful performance and competitive advantage in the workplace, alongside their intellectual, social, and cultural resources. In this lecture, the concept of psychological capital will be introduced and illustrated as a powerful tool that can affect linguists in the workplace. Combining psychological research and the stories of professional translators, the lecture will explore the value of this concept for the sustainability of the language professions.

More information can be found here: 


Emotional Intelligence for Linguists

Speakers: Dr. Séverine Hubscher-Davidson and Dr. Caroline Lehr

Friday 25 September 2020
10:00 – 12:00 (UK time)

CIOL Translating Division


Join CIOL’s Translating Division in this online event about emotional intelligence. As well as introducing the concept of emotional intelligence, this event highlights the importance of emotions and emotion management in translation and interpreting work. With a mixture of theory and practical exercises, the online event enables participants to draw on and enhance their emotion management skills. You can access the recording of the webinar if you are a CIOL member via the training library.


Translation as Disturbance: Emotion Management for a Sustainable Profession

Speaker: Dr. Séverine Hubscher-Davidson

18 November 2020 / 3.30pm-5pm (UK time)

The University of Exeter


Emotions are complex reactions comprising experiential, behavioural, and physiological components. Few would argue that professional translators can experience emotions in the context of their work, and that they need to possess emotional competencies in order to mediate effectively between cultures, to understand a client’s needs and expectations, and to communicate messages in a successful way. Yet, translators’ emotions are still under-researched and psychological aspects of translating lack visibility in professional translator training contexts. In this presentation, I will highlight the relevance of discussing affect—the term used in psychology to refer to emotions that influence one’s thinking and actions—and explore how emotions can have a powerful impact on practicing translators. Drawing on translators’ experiences as well as an empirical study involving 155 professional translators, it will be argued that acquiring an ability to manage emotions is key to a successful and sustainable career in the translation industry.


Language, Health, and Psychology: Exploring the Links

Speaker: Dr. Séverine Hubscher-Davidson

02 December 2020 / 3.30pm-5pm (UK time)

Coventry University


The cognitive benefits of learning a new language have drawn much attention from the UK media in recent years. Indeed, it is thought that speaking more than one language can improve memory, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. However, not much has been said about the other psychological and well-being benefits of communicating across languages and cultures. In this talk, I will demonstrate that monolinguals are denying themselves the opportunity to boost their emotional health and wellbeing. When we learn a new language and travel to a new country, our (rewarding but sometimes frustrating) experiences develop our resilience and emotional intelligence; we grow to tolerate situations of ambiguity and stress; we gain confidence and empathy; we learn to regulate our emotions and manage conflicting perspectives. Drawing on my own research with professional translators, I will show how working between languages can lead to happier and more well-adjusted individuals who have developed a new understanding of their own dispositions and emotional health.