The dominant form of genealogical representation is based on a single naming pattern and a single kinship systems. I have written about this issue before with virtually no response from comments or other wise. As genealogists we profess to be interested in records and record preservation. With languages, we not only have record preservation issue, but we also have the preservation of an entire culture as an issue. If you would like a very limited perspective in this area, see the Wikipedia article "List of languages by number of native speakers." If you read the disclaimer you will also see that the numbers are based on estimates and I might add, the lumping together of people who really cannot understand one another.
If you were to go back in your own ancestry, how many different languages did your ancestors speak? Do any of these languages imply a different kinship system and naming pattern? How do you record those kinship systems and naming patterns that are different than the English used in this blog post? In the United States, we have a huge Spanish speaking population. Spanish naming patterns and kinship systems are dramatically different than those in English speaking countries. Even if a Spanish speaker uses one of the genealogy programs "translated" into Spanish, the kinship system is often ignored. As far as I can tell, Tony Proctor is one of the very few people in the online genealogical community who are trying to accommodate these differences in some sort of organized way.
MyHeritage.com is the only major online genealogy database that accommodates more than the standard widely spoken languages. Here is the list they presently support:
Afrikaans, Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese-Mandarin, Chinese Traditional, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Farsi, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese – Brazil, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovakian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish and Ukrainian.There is an application of the law of diminishing returns here. Even though there may be thousands of languages, most of the studies of those languages do not discount the number of people who are also proficient in an additional language or speak many languages. Many of the Spanish speaking people in the U.S., for example, also speak some English. On the other hand, even though I would be considered a native English speaker, I also speak Spanish fluently. The diminishing return here is that once you have translated your program into a certain number of languages, there is not a great enough demand from speakers of additional languages to justify the expense of translation and maintaining websites in each new language.
Even with MyHeritage.com, the process of translating the program into a target language is just that, a translation. For example, if I switch to Spanish in MyHeritage.com I get a screen that is only partially in Spanish. I am not picking on MyHeritage.com, none of the other large online programs do much better.
If you find yourself involved with ancestors that spoke a language different than the one you presently speak, there is hope. It is possible to translate those languages into your native language, it just takes a little more time and effort. But then you will be faced with recording the kinship system in a way that preserves the relationships. Most of the programs available allow you to name your own specialized fields for entering information. It is important that you understand why and how this function exists.