Google has announced that a new paid version of their Translate API will be put in place for developers creating commercial software or using the API for their business.
The translation costs are on a per-character basis. For every million characters translated, Google will charge $20. That equates to roughly $0.05 per page (500 words) of text. For developers who are already using the API, 100,000 characters a day will be free until the December 1, 2011 deadline.
The one good thing about this usage free for developers is that it does away with any API usage restrictions. However, depending on the type of program you are using it for, it may rack up some pretty heavy usage fees.
For the time being, average use of Google Translate by personal users will still remain free. It still remains to be seen how this will shape the rest of the machine translation tools on the web, whether they will follow in Google’s footsteps, or still provide free API’s for everyone.
Regardless, machine translation still is a long way off from providing the most accurate translations. It is still recommended to utilize professional translators if you want quality translations.