For a long time Gnome and other desktops have been using an english directory name for the desktop folder (and a few other common directories like music, download and documents). There has been a lot of discussions (read: flamewars) on how to localize these filename. After the last one I’ve finally broken down and done something about this. So, I present to you xdg-user-dirs.
It is a desktop-agnostic (and dependency free) program that is meant to be integrated by distros so that it gets run very early in the login phase. It will then look at the users locale and system-specific default configurations and use these to create a set of folders in the users homedirectory. It also generates (or updates) a user configuration files that points to these directories so that applications can find them.
I’ve also created the gnome-specific module xdg-user-dirs-gtk and a set of gnome patches that integrates these directories into the Gnome desktop. With these in place (availible in the Fedora 7 rawhide repositories now) users automatically get localized folders like Music, Movies, and Documents, plus default bookmarks to these in the gtk file selector. Any changes to these folders (e.g. moves or renames) with nautilus will automatically be updated in the bookmarks and the user directory configuration.
The Gnome integration even detects when you log in with a new locale and asks you if you want to move your directories to the new language.
Its also very easy for the sysadmin to change the default directories created for users (or to disable the whole thing). Just edit a simple config file.