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Does the list really need to be translated afresh for each release?!!?
Surely once done the list stays much the same except for 'new'
that have been added?

Usually it's not needed for each release to translate the strings, but for each locale the localers 
are translating the language strings to their own languages, which is a waste  of our time and 
meaningless but adding trouble. 

However, there may be unusual cases that the old strings need retranslating? For zh-cn I am sure 
that it was 100% complete translation in 3.x, but when 4.1 was released there become many 
untranslated strings.  And even worse,  in 4.2 there are even more, even if that string was already 
translated in 4.1.  (Maybe it's because of the .src to .ui change? Or because "~ABC" to "_ABC"? )

Concerning the language names issue,  what I am doing recently is revising the language names to 
english-and-target strings in zh-cn UI. I believe when finished it would look "professional",  
"fresh",  and meaningful. 
Kevin Suo 锁琨珑
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