Re: Translation and Artificial Idiocy
I think mediocre does not mean what you think it means. Mediocre means it would be doing about as well as an average translator (the medi as in Mediterranean, lit. middle of the Earth, gives it away.)
Looking for idiom is I think unrealistic, especially as there are so many within a given language. (Translating, say, Raymond Queneau's street argot must have been a nightmare). But readable and accurate may be achievable for non-literary text, which is what most people are going to want most of the time.