From the outset we decided multilingual support of European languages SHOULD be a key feature of an open-source e-commerce community operating from Europe. Support of multiple languages would no longer be an option, but a MUST. For companies operating in bilingual and multilingual European countries like Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, and Switzerland this may of course be an critical key feature too.
The traditional MVC-L (model-view-controller-language) application structure adds severe limitations to performance, maintenance, and scalability. For example, a single language adds over 350 files in about 40 directories to an OpenCart install. If the OpenCart MVC-L implementation is expanded to four or even more languages, file management becomes a dreadful task.
There are performance side-effects if a single MVC view consists of not only one template file, but also several language files for all supported languages.
Furthermore, consistency within one language is difficult to maintain if terms are spread out over dozens of language files. For example, if the store manager wants to change shopping cart to shopping basket, a developer will have go over several files. A more centralized approach with an end-user interface for editing seems a much wiser choice.