Is Translation Crossing the Frontiers that Technology Cannot?

Whilst we are all aware of the globalisation of technology and the effect that this has had on making the world smaller (the Internet being the prime example), the question remains – are there frontiers that technology cannot cross?

Translation serves not only to cross borders in business and to build bridges between speakers of different languages, but also acts as a tool for making the arts accessible to all. World literature is a classic example. How is it that Paulo Coelho has become a household name in the United Kingdom and across the globe? First and foremost, because he is an extraordinarily talented writer of awe-inspiring stories. But secondly, and almost equally important to his global success, is translation. The talent of the respective literary translators is often overlooked.

Sport – another great example. In this day and age where we are able to use technology to replay a shot in tennis, or a potential try in rugby, we still need an interpreter to explain the questions from the media for the player who does not speak their language. Can we assume then, that translation is crossing the frontiers that technology cannot? Or is there still something missing with regards to breaking down the barriers?