For those I haven't yet met, I'm Tim Post, the Director of Stack Overflow Communities here at Stack Exchange.
When we said we planned to reverse our previous stance on localization some years ago, we really had no idea what we were getting into. We had some experience, we knew that it can be tricky to find just the right translation to fit design constraints, but we really had no idea what we were in for.
Now we do, and we're actually getting good at it. The process of translation for us is still more of a barrier than we'd like it to be, but we're light years ahead of where we started. People have in fact noticed that we're turning out some pretty great sites, and they're wondering when this great new thing will be open to Stack Exchange communities in general.
No French cooking site? That's crazy, and deprives the world of finer cuisine. Seriously, no martial arts for Asian languages? What?!
Here's where we are, in a nutshell.
In order for us to consider a localized site other than Stack Overflow, Stack Overflow must currently exist in the target language. Additionally, we positively must have community manager cycles to spare, from someone fluent in the target language.
Currently, this is not the case for any language where Stack Overflow has been translated, and we don't foresee it being the case in the amount of time we're willing to ask people to wait. We're not turning a deaf ear to what these communities clearly want, we simply don't want the Area 51 process itself to artificially raise people's expectations.
At the same time, we want these sites, but not at the cost of building them less than responsibly on our side. It will be some time until we have the resources needed, and tweaks to the process itself in place to start building these.
We're not saying 'no'.
We're saying not yet. As we continue to build Stack Overflow again and again in different languages while we create even more amazing developer communities, it's inevitable that these developers are going to want to use our software to ask questions about other interests. If we can learn anything from history, it's this.
When we first announced Stack Exchange 2.0, we didn't have the awkward problem of having only one person in the company that could even read certain sites, much less help guide them through their very critical early stages. We don't consider this an acceptable problem to have for the longer term, but there's a limit to how fast we can hire and grow responsibly.
In the interim, we're continuing to look at ways we can make the process of bringing up a new international site even simpler, while reducing the amount of developer and community manager overhead that's spent on administrative things we hope to eventually automate or offload entirely to individual communities.
Just as I noted in the update about localization progress for Stack Overflow itself, if your proposal is closed it's not because we're not interested in building it, we're just not sure when we can, and we don't want to unfairly raise your expectations.
We wish we could support additional sites in the languages we've currently finished translating, because the enthusiasm we've seen for them is amazing. We're going to keep working on it, and when we're ready, we promise to let you know.