It is always gratifying to see media you trust, think about the same issues.
- Google uses English as an intermediate language to translate between many language pairs
- It does not declare that it does this
- It has vested interests in hiding this fact – getting ad-words users to advertise in multiple languages.
My conclusion was that machine translation is a successful experiment but not ready yet to be rolled out as an institution.
Interestingly the Economist highlights some of these issue here in a post appearing weeks after my own.