Almost all the work I do is produced in two languages. I am trying to find a simple way to take all the paragraph styles from a document and duplicate them changing only the language. I can't seem to find a way to do this without creating a new style group (which is fine) and then changing each style manually either in the character palette or by editing the style (much less fine). Or applying the language change and then right-clicking to redefine the style.
Is there a simpler and more elegant way to accomplish this?
Well, I don't know. I am inclined to to change each style manually and then use a keyboard shortcut to redefine. That's simpler for me, because I am one of those keyboard users who doesn't touch the mouse all that often. I don't know what would work for you, though. Perhaps this is something that you could do programmatically by editing IDML in a text editor?
I spend a lot of time duplicating styles (or style groups), then using a GREP query to reassign language, then using a keyboard shortcut to redefine styles. I don't know if it is simpler or more elegant, but it's certainly faster!
Maybe there is a plugin or script that will help you gin up something more elegant? in-tools' Style Utilities probably isn't it, but that's where I looked first. (I thought it could be something like "Use style A, unless you encounter a Cyrillic glyph, in which case use style B" but since we don't know what your languages are, and whether or not they use identical scripts, it would be a useless suggestion.)