In his March 3 article, Roger Pulvers implies that translation and interpreting are one and the same, that everyone has a computer and/or smartphone at hand, that they can access these speedily, and that translation/interpreting tools are, or soon will be, so good that we won’t have to struggle to speak/write/read anymore.
If that were so, the many variants of English would require us to hump a super computer round on our backs and have it permanently plugged into a reliable high-speed Internet connection (and Japan has a notoriously slow connection rate).
Although he concedes that [translation on a cultural or highly technical level will still need to be done in the traditional way,] he waves his magic pen to say that the basic English competency that is drummed into students will be “fulfilled digitally.”
But I would strongly recommend that Pulvers return to a safer subject.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.