I also find Google translate generally good enough, and I usually have enough knowledge to fix up the strange parts.
By the way, Steve meant that he would rather write in English and see the translation in the target language than write directly in the target language.
If I were in your situation (and I might be soon if I keep going with Arabic lol) I would probably just go straight for the authentic content and start importing articles from Wikipedia or news sites and such. You don't have to do a lot at once, maybe just like a paragraph or even one or two sentences. It's tedious, it sucks, keep a grammar book on hand, but it does work after a while.