As you know, I can only moderate the English parts.
As for the situation itself, here’s some lessons learned from a lot of multi-national, multi-language sites and clients.
It creates separation and barriers where one might have intended for a community/forum to create unity and closeness. Not everything can be replicated across multiple languages, so there’s always the case where different languages provide a different user experience, satisfaction level, etc.
It typically happens where the expectation is top-down dissemination of information rather than for the grass-roots to have input. That’s because it is far easier to replicate the words from one or two sources into many languages, than for the posts of many languages to all be effectively and equitably pushed up the chain, or even sideways to other users in other languages.
In general, it offers a broader minimal level of service to more folks (i.e. people who only speak one of the added languages get someplace to communicate) but it has a diffusion effect, so that there’s a lesser concentration of high value in any one language. And everyone who doesn’t speak all of the languages offered, wonders what they might be missing out on, creating a certain element of doubt and uncertainty, and the emotional atmosphere that creates.
That’s some great feedback Ammon. My intention is a very focussed, very high quality service level and it was always already hard to keep German (my native language) updated for LRT and Link Detox, besides English.
And likewise, whenver I get somewhere where they offer German and maybe even auto-switch me to German, I immediately switch back everything to English.
That’s where my general “No more than English for AIPRM” was rooted in, so far.
One more positive aspect of course of having it all in a web-indexed forum: way more translation tools work on whole web pages instead of the quirky little “Translate this” link you have to click for every comment. So I am sure we already have a better Non-English service already, but just providing English on a website.
I found there were a lot of lessons on this topic that could be learned from MMO gaming. Most MMO games maintain a number of regional servers, partly to distribute the load, but largely because ping-times and lag can be critical issues in many MMO games.
However, the fact is that even in such an environment, where ping times can have a huge effect on play, many English speakers would prefer to use the US servers than the EU servers because even in games where ping times are critical, so is team communication.
This in turn often creates a huge divide in style, culture, and ability levels on different server groups. The hugely successful World of Tanks and World of Warships MMO games both learned this, with hugely different playstyles and team make-ups seen on the different servers. On the Asian Pacific servers players had long queues waiting for match-ups because almost all of the Australian and NZ players went to the US servers, and the game’s style wasn’t especially successful in the other nations in the territory.
A similar effect is seen in almost every MMO, where the language divides end up having a massive effect on the experience and culture of each server. It is effectively a whole different game, even though based on the exact same code and mechanics.