On the old forum I noticed that because local forums were “below the fold”, some people would write on the global ones in English while they could have asked their local community which is quite active.
Arguably, people are marginally better at asking questions in their native language. The language barrier makes them incomprehensible maybe not in the literal sense, but just having them ask in as few words as possible, because they can’t fully express themselves in English.
Plus, there are regional specifics for which knowing the country helps a lot.
I’m not sure about putting them on top, but I would definitely support making sure they don’t end up “below the fold”. That could be achieved by reducing the icon sizes and whitespace on the categories.
We probably should also make the local communities themselves more visible e.g. by giving them suitable icons and increasing their font size.
While it would make sense to move the communities category in the top, as to promote it in usage instead of the general Help, the way I see it is that many people prefer to post in general Help because their communities may not be active enough for a quick response which they may expect, so they choose the easy way of trying the English in the general category.
Also, the categories in the main page aren’t expanded as in the old forum, which makes it easier to notice even the bottom ones.
Note this future feature that might solve the visibility problem on the categories you care about the most
Obviously this won’t solve the questions about how to discover them in the first place. Let’s say my browser is setup in Spanish (Spain), how do the forums can help me discover categories in Spanish or related to Spain?