I translated an English paragraph into Japanese using Google Translate. It pasted as little boxes instead of letters in ID4. Can you help?
Depends on what kind of help you want. I'm probably going to tell you to pay a translation firm to get your English paragraph translated into Japanese and typeset for you... but maybe that is a service you don't actually need. I can't tell from your post.
Typesetting Japanese correctly in ID is hard. It doesn't require a Japanese installation of ID, but you certainly need special tools, or special Japanese-specific template files or scripts that do not come with the normal English install of ID. Do you need it to be correct - i.e., fully readable by an average high-school-educated Japanese reader?
ID tries to groups fonts by script support (not language support, but script support), but in practice it doesn't work all that well. Fonts with Vietnamese support will be mixed in with the Latin-script fonts. FIlipino is strictly Latin-script. "Thaiwanese" is not a language. There are two categories for Chinese fonts - one for Simplified, one for Traditional. You'd probably need Simplified for "Chinese" and Traditional for Taiwan. Korean also has a separate category.
Of course, we don't know what fonts you have installed or which OS you're using, so we can't tell you which group is which without screenshots or names of fonts.
InDesign won't tell you what languages are supported by which fonts. If you tell me what OS you are using, I can tell you what fonts are installed generically by your OS that support these languages. IN CS4, you got a few free fonts that support East Asian languages:
Trad Chinese - AdobeMingStd-Light.otf
Korean - AdobeMyungjoStd-Medium.otf
Simplified/Mainland Chinese - AdobeSongStd-Light.otf
Simplified/Mainland Chinese - AdobeKaitiStd-Regular.otf
Simplified/Mainland Chinese - AdobeFangsongStd-Regular.otf
Also, Myriad Pro will give you Vietnamese support - among many other fonts, but that one is a pretty safe bet.
BUT, if you think that Google Translate is going to give you readable text in all these languages, then you are in big trouble. In particular, the Korean and Japanese are likely to be pretty useless to your readership. Also, your Japanese almost certainly has incorrect line breaks - kind of like incorrect hyphenation in English. (Actually, word breaks in the middle of words without hyphenation would be a better analogy.)
I hope that nobody who can't read English needs to use your document.
Joel is right. Google Translate quality ranges from fair/good to totally abysmal.
Try doing some test with languages that use a western alphabet and see how well it translates into English.
Copy some German, French or Italian into English via Google Translate.
It should be pretty obvious when the translation fails and produces awkward English or even some total gibberish.
If it makes a complete mess when translating into a language you do understand, just imagine the problems with translating English into languages you don't understand.
You said: I need Japanese, Chinese, Thaiwanese, Phillipino, Korean and Vietnamese
It's apparent you don't read these languages so there is no way you can tell how good or bad the translation is.
This is a recipe for disaster.
Thanks for the support, Bo. I think it's a lost cause, though - I get the feeling that Bill is on the hook with his boss for this, and there's no amount of stern commentary from language industry pros that is going to dissuade him from his course of action. And, honestly, as we accumulate well-groomed bilingual corpora, we're going to see more and more decent machine translation in use.
However, my gut feeling is that we're still more than a decade away from usable general-purpose EN->JP machine translation. Bill, if you're still paying attention here and not trying to slam out a multilingual warning under an obscene deadline, just take one sentence from your English document and throw it into www.translationparty.com. You might feel differently about your project afterwards. It's a fun game.
Edit: for a typo that would have kept me awake at night.
Obviously you don't have any Hebrew, Thai, Lao, Burmese, or Khmer fonts installed - or there would be other categories in your list.
3 China (preferred)
is nonsense. Complete bunk. There are separate categories for Traditional and Simplified Chinese.
Only a very small subset of Latin-script fonts have Vietnamese support.
I'm happy for you & your completed project, but sad for the people who are going to have to try to read it.