I had a student recently who said she was taking my Beginner's Crochet class so that she could learn how to make amigurumi figures. It got me thinking about how many wonderful Japanese amigurumi patterns are out there ("amigurumi" after all originated in Japan) but how hard they are for us English-speaking crocheters to figure out. Well, after a bit of searching, I found this great website that helps in translating a Japanese pattern: http://weloveamigurumi.livejournal.com/434126.html
I also realized that many crochet patterns from other countries often use the universal language of crochet symbols in addition to written instructions. I haven't yet found a really comprehensive glossary of crochet symbols to share, but I will keep searching or, better yet, put together one of my own!