Looks like a bug... in that I select the language if a language has been selected, but on new installs, the defaultLang is not set, so defaults to english, and highlights the first language, which is arabic
after passing the following inside a new thread, nodebb crashed...
[[Missions: The First Steps|The First Steps]]
here is the log error:
4/12 21:56  - error: Could not load `Missions`: ENOENT, open '/home/sander/nodebb/public/language/en_US/Missions.json'. Skipping...
4/12 21:56  - error: Could not load `missions`: ENOENT, open '/home/sander/nodebb/public/language/en_US/missions.json'. Skipping...
This has been resolved, nginx wouldn't reload after a symlink was created. Running the command with logging switched on led to
could not build the server_names_hash, you should increase server_names_hash_bucket_size: 32
going into nginx.conf and uncommenting
means it now works.