The world is getting smaller, year by year, and the steady improvement in freely available automated translation engines has a lot to do with that. Unlike even just a few years ago, it's now possible to dive right into a foreign language community online and follow the conversation using tools such as Google Translate. The one area where this is a still a challenge is scientific literature, science being one of the last fields of human endeavor in which it is still legitimate to (a) make up entirely new words and new meanings for existing words, and (b) refuse to explain yourself in anything other than a highly formalized, esoteric dialect of your language.
But the language barrier for reading the results of scientific research will fall, just as the barriers for common subjects are now almost gone.
On this topic, I should point out that an energetic Russian language healthy life extension community exists online these days. We monolingual English speakers could only see a fraction of their writings until fairly recently, and that fraction thanks to the efforts of people such as Maria Konolavenko, Leonid Gavrilov and Natalia Gavrilova, and a brace of other volunteer translators over the years.
But now with Google Translate, it's quite possible to browse the Russian language blogs and other websites where people debate and advocate for engineered human longevity. "Translator" will soon be, like "computer," one of those words that used to mean a profession, and now means a machine. A couple of starting points are below:
- Michael Batin's blog; for example see a much-discussed post on Cryonics He posts frequently and attracts a lot of comments.
- Maria Konolavenko's Russian blog (not to be confused with her English blog)
- The Science Against Aging initiative in English, or an automated translation of their Russian language site.
We are fortunate indeed to live in an age in which any one of us can wave a magic wand over incomprehensible runes and have them transform into plain, readable text. Even as recently as my youth, such a thing was a pipe dream. Why aren't you taking advantage of this wonder? All the world's communities await, just a single automated translation away.