Exactly, we have done an analysis on Google Chinese MT too.
Emophiliac, thank you. That is a good example of a relatively low-risk use for
machine translation. I'm glad it worked out for you. Another
alternative for a situation like that would be over-the-phone interpretation,
which is smoother, but not free. Phone interpretation could be more crucial for
a higher-value tour reservation (for a large group) in a language you did not
know at all.
All I know is, having a translator program handy helped quite a bit in Mexico
last month, when I needed to make a tour arrangement between myself (with
limited Spanish skills) and a tour company (with limited English skills). A few
back and forths with the translator allowed me to arrange a trip in a matter of
minutes, when the alternative would have been fumbling with a dictionary and
probably coming up with something as unintelligible. Probably the key is having