James Fallows on the rumored truth behind the Google Translate API shutdown:
Google is dropping an automatic-translation tool, because overuse by spam-bloggers is flooding the internet with sloppily translated text, which in turn is making computerized translation even sloppier.
If true, this is intriguing. The bigger question, then, might be why Google isn’t doing more to attempt to distinguish autogenerated pages from “real” content. It’s a very difficult problem to solve, and it might not even be possible. But Google has both the biggest need for such a solution and the best resources with which to develop and maintain it.