Well I tried this out today (european server, I'm from the UK myself) and there wasn't really any foreign langauge problems in the chat. 98% of the people I saw were speaking english.
What happened was the majority of the beta testers went for the european server, dragging along there international buddies :P
Somehow in game I've gone from being bad at ship combat, good on land to decent with ship, terrible on land! I swear poor explorers got their rifles nerfed :P
Anyway the game is pretty fun with the ship system looking better than usual.
My ign there: cougan