I stumbed over this, too. But I’m pretty sure he meant this from the perspective of the developer, and used an incorrect choice of words. These languages do offer a simpler way of programming by translating between you and the computer. You write in a high-level language and then the compiler translates it into a low-level language the computer can use. So from the perspective of a non-tech person, the difficult stuff from before is translated into easier stuff (well, and then back again). He more or less says as much a couple sentences later:
Much like in the shift from assembly code to FORTRAN, the underlying code is still there, but it can be represented more simply.