By way of an offhand conversation with MetalMusicAddict, I learned that there is a bizarre dependency between language packs and some of the core components of OpenOffice.org. Installing a language pack draws in the OpenOffice equivalent for the same language, which in turn sucks in the base components for the office suite.
So in all, there are about 75Mb of dependencies to any language pack, and unless I’m mistaken, there’s no way to avoid them. They’re marked as “depends” not “recommends” so you get them, whether or not you want any or all of OpenOffice on your machine.
You can check it yourself; sift through the package search site for anything marked as language-support, and a dependency will be the corresponding openoffice.org-l10n package. And from there, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to openoffice.org-common and a huge chunk of your bandwidth, or your CD image.
Inconvenient? Only for offshoots that don’t want OO.o on board. I guess — and this was a point that MetalMusicAddict made — for the supported projects, it’s more convenient and probably more appropriate.
Still, it seems counterintuitive to pull in 75Mb of unrelated applications, just to offer language support. Not that my opinion counts at all, but it seems like that should — or could — be rerouted somehow.