The reason is the heavy reliance on Alt key. In many locale settings, right alt is reserved for inputting national characters such as ąłóżźćńś. It works at terminal level, not application level.
This makes a fundamental action like 'select surrounding object ’ only possible with left hand, and my left wrist happens to be healing from a bicycle accident. Both shifts are easily accessible and bigger, and I’d rather have easily accessible backpedal than extending selection (more on that later).
Go back to word start ? Take your fingers from the home row or bend that thumb under your palm, baby!
I’m not representative at all, but I’m a non-english speaker using kakoune without any problem.
The trick is to insert the digraphs at input (linux’s X I think) server level. I use dvorak + custom keys for the digraphs I need most of the time, from using a compose key (one key followed by two keys to combine them[compose ' a = á]) to using a single modifier (super modifier + key gives you access to the accented one [super + a = á]). It works quite well.
Only problem I have ever had is to insert digraphs on a terminal-only environment, but that problem would happen also with vim and other terminal editors.
I’m Russian, and I do. we have a QЙWЦEУRКTЕYН
layout and russian part doesn’t work in kakoune at all. But I don’t need russian layout in Kakoune like at all. So your question might be more specific, like usage with non-qwerty layouts.