From what you are saying, it sounds like they wanted the cake and eat it too, which I believe made those volunteers such as yourself feel like their work wasn't worth the hassle.
I am aware that WoltLab is still a relatively small company, and I can understand if they didn't want to hire professional translators because of the price. I think that for the time being, translating wbb into several languages would be trying to put too many eggs in one basket. The current English translation is acceptable, but not great considering that it still shows odd/awkward wording here and there. I do believe that Burning Board should focus on providing an excellent English translation to begin with, which is what makes a product reach broader audiences nowadays -- for instance, the potentially lucrative American market that I believe WoltLab is trying to win.
It is my personal opinion that for the moment trying to include volunteer-based translations in various languages would be dispersive, since as I mentioned above, the focus should primarily be on improving the current English pack. I know for a fact that several potential customers across the ocean (and who speak English either as both first or second language) are often put off by the odd and unconventional wording the current English translation displays.
Translations in other languages could come later on, and possibly tasked to professional translators.
It was a wonderful experience for me to work with Woltlab as a company and the other volunteers. I would do it again. Since it was on a volunteer basis there was no hassle for me, and like I said I quite enjoyed the experience & opportunity. They treated us with great respect. I also know they appreciated our efforts. I have no hesitation in saying that Woltlab is a great company, and I hope I didn't give a different impression to anyone with my previous post. I guess I see both sides of the spectrum (business & consumer). The German community is something else, and I hope one day the English one will be more similar. It's such a great software & system!