Neopets when English is not your first language
If you are not too lazy to look at details of each page in Neopia, you probably know you can switch the language of this great world. And trust me (because I'm one of the many French-speakers), there is not only one Neopia but many of them, depending on which language you choose.
This article (or English essay which is fortunately not gonna be read by my former English teacher) is not about criticizing the translation of some pages of Neopets. Why? Because I have to say, TNT does an incredible job with this, especially when you consider for example that each step of the plot is already translated at midnight when for the English Neopia it's released at the same time! :-). However, I will try to explain some tips you have to know about switching from one language to another, especially concerning the boards.
1) A non-English-speaking board is like a small village.
If the English Pound board could be considered as New-York city or LA for its dynamism, and also for the fact that even if you misspell your topic title (and it occurs more often that you would like to admit ;-) ) no one will really see it, another language board is more likely to be compared with those kind of neighborhoods near a Highway where everybody in the train would say "Oh that's cute but I couldn't live there". That's the reason why, when you go for example on French boards, you have to consider that everybody knows each other!
Even if the Neopian Times is not ready for its "French-Board Gossip Editorial" (should I submit it?), like in every small village, what happens on non-English board stay for a while, probably because there are less people to post new topics to make your epic fail going down down down on the topic list. However, this is just one side of this small community effect. This small village effect is also really cool because anybody you will interview on French board (I'm waiting for a live-time with our pteri reporter on Neopia Central News Channel) can say the relationships are stronger and easier to maintain! Guilds are probably more stable, and I have to say, I'm probably still on this amazing website, not just for the new wearables my pets could wear (even if I have to say it matters!), but also thank to the amazing people I met on those boards, and with whom I grew up and took part in so many event (AC is just perfect for that)!
2) Cross the border and let speak English!
Yeah, you can do it! * take his pompoms* There are just so many reasons for someone who is not fluent in English to go on English boards and for English speakers to go on other language board: first depending on where you are from your way to write in English can be cute (thumbs up, French guys!). Then, it's the only way to get 50 different advices on solving one of your problems (or maybe not, there are just eleven languages available). The third advantage is language improvement and adaptability, like going abroad can make you learn some new skills (an amazing meepit call it "experience of life", he's a genius). You will see people on neopets generally welcome everybody who isputting some efforts to speak correctly each other language.
If you are still a little bit shy or worry to make mistakes, there are two solutions. You can blame it on your former teacher (did I do that?), because trust me the possibility for those multiplayer games to speak with people from so many countries is just an incredible opportunity which deserve a simple-past mistake (this is my way to justify any mistakes in this article, sorry in advance ;) )!
3) The multiple secrets of the changing-language effect
Sometimes, changing the language can make funny situations happen. I'm not speaking about the fact that an English Chia became a French Tchia, it's like ordering an English beef burger in France, and getting a French teeth burger (that joke was funny before I write it, but blame it on my former English teacher). I'm referring to the funny random filter effect which can prevent in some languages to use some really common words because they look like nasty words in other languages. Taking a shower in French sounds like an English insult, so don't worry, Neopians on French boards wash themselves, but if we have to do a battledome break during the plot to have a cleaning time, we will have to say that we gonna put some water on our faces.
Of course now I'm joking on a little thing which doesn't work on the translation, but again, you will progress really fast in your language skills just by using the pages in another language. As I said (and I can see it because French is my first language) there are nearly no mistakes in the translation and the translators (I guess TNT have thousands of meepits in an office who are eating dictionaries to manage that performance) manage to keep the humor even in non-English pages, and that's great!
So this is it, I just hope thanks to this little article, you will just take a big breath and try to see all the other languages that Neopia has! In just four words (or maybe five if you count "and" as a word): discover, try, and make friends. I will just make your daily Neopian time even funnier. And of course Neopia itself is an incredible source of discovery, but with the other languages, those possibilities are unlimited! To conclude, as a really great wizard said to a teenager with a lightning scar on his forehead, words are magic, they can both heal and hurt, so manipulate them carefully! Oh and a final advice, don't blame too much on your former teacher, I'm sure she/he was not that bad ;).