What about that free online translator tool?
Well, go ahead and give it a try. Don’t forget to translate the result back to the source language. If it does make sense, by all means, use it. If it does not, it can be revised – but it may often be costlier and take longer than if done by a human translator in the first place.
Machine translation has come a long way. It can indeed meet some practical needs – it can do a decent job at translating a simple letter or at helping you understand what that e-mail was about. For anything else, it comes short.
There are many reasons, but one of them is key: as a general rule, writers are human. The best machine translators may be able to translate adequately a general text, written in a simple style with perfect grammar and punctuation. However, it takes a human mind to understand the subtleties and imperfections of another human mind.