also geotarget the subfolder to the main territory he would wish to target for that langauge?
You can specify the region (as well as the language) in the
hreflang attribute. However, whether you should or not is really dependent on your subject matter.
You say that these other languages are simply translations of the English version, so I would guess not. Are you specifically targeting speakers of that language in that region, or simply speakers of that language wherever they are located?
[geotarget subfolder] Will doing so exclude the subfolder from showing up in all of those other languages?
I assume you mean "regions"? (If a user searches in one language, they are unlikely to get results in another language.) I imagine the "region" is only a suggestion to Google, it won't necessarily prevent it from showing with other results in different regions providing Google deems the result as relevant to the user.
This is for the default "Any country" search when a user searches using their regional Google site eg. google.co.uk (UK), google.co.id (Indonesia), etc. If a user specifically limits their search to their home country then yes, results from other geotargeted regions could be omitted. (This is also covered in my update below.)
geotargeting from GWT while also using hreflang.
You can only geotarget whole domains in GWT (unless you add these subdirectories as separate "sites") and only those domains that have a gTLD (
.net, etc.). ccTLDs (eg.
.co.uk) are already geotargeted and this cannot be changed - however, that does not necessarily prevent your "geotargeted" site from appearing in other regional searches, providing your pages are deemed to be "relevant".
...say you don't geotarget. Will your e.g. French subfolder still show up in Country:France and Country:Belgium search results?
If you don't geotarget a gTLD, Google is going to make assumptions about your intended geotarget anyway, so it's not entirely clear what would happen. I would assume that if Google thinks your site is geotargeted towards France then it will show in a Country:France specific search, but if this was the case then it would not necessarily appear in a Country:Belgium search. From Google's webmaster help pages:
If an international domain (.com, .org, .eu, etc) has been used, we'll rely on several signals, including IP address, location information on the page, links to the page, and any relevant information from Google Places.
...here's the real question - would THEN geotargeting for e.g. France (as presumably you'd rank higher in France's results than if you chose not to do it), then PREVENT those pages from continuing to show up in Country:Belgium searches?
Yes, this would seem to be the case. If the site is specifically geotargeted to a particular region, then the site won't appear in another regions "specific" search.
As a simple test, if I do a search for the name of my site (UK target) on google.co.id (Indonesia) then it appears at #2 position in the SERPs. This is the default "Any country" search. However, if I do a country specific search, ie. Search Tools > "Country: Indonesia" then my site does not appear at all in the SERPs.
Note, however, that the default search is "Any country". How many users actually narrow their search to their own country is another matter.