The Google Research blog posted an article about how Google's translation tools work differently than most commercial machine translation systems. Recently, Google released their Arabic translation tool -- I've only tried it once, but it looks very good.
I went to aljazeera.net to find some Arabic text so I could try the tool. I translated the first paragraph I could find -- the results were surprisingly very readable. Here is a screenshot showing my translation.
I don't know Arabic, but I do know now that Moscow stressed tone against Iran on it's nuclear program. The NIST 2005 Machine Translation Evaluation results show that Google is ahead of companies like SYSTRAN -- the brains behind Yahoo's tool called "babelfish".