I figured it out! i had to use poedit, then i had to manually create the en_US file and place it in a manually created language folder in the wp-content folder. thank you! with the new versions, you have to go to your buddypress folder under plugins, make a copy of the buddypress.pot file, rename it and edit it in poedit. manually create the language folder, and place it in there. the rest is automatic!
i downloaded the poedit software, then i did a full search in both the buddypress plugin folder, and my theme folder. nothing called buddypress-en_US.po pulled up…:-/ am i not looking in the right place?