Recently, I happened upon the Dalai Lama’s Nobel Lecture in 1989, delivered upon his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize. As I was preparing for my trip to Berlin later this week for Hello Etsy (with stops in London and Dublin), his words reminded me of one of the reasons traveling in other countries warms my spirit:
“When I meet people in different parts of the world, I am always reminded that we are all basically alike: we are all human beings. Maybe we have different clothes, our skin is of a different colour, or we speak different languages. That is on the surface. But basically, we are the same human beings. That is what binds us to each other. That is what makes it possible for us to understand each other and to develop friendship and closeness.”
The Dalai Lama’s words also made me think of what I see happening every day in the Etsy community. Etsy is a truly global community that represents people in 150 countries around the world, speaking a variety of languages, and the company has staff in the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Australia, Japan, and the UK. I wrote about our Etsy in German preview last week, and today, we’re taking a major leap forward by beginning to open up Etsy in German to everyone.
Many companies on the web today build separate sites when they launch in another country. At Etsy, we will remain a single marketplace with local features to make it simple for those who live anywhere in the world or speak another language to be a part of one global community. For German speakers, we’re offering a fully translated site, tools for sellers to create and manage shops and listings in German, and search features that help German-speaking buyers find unique items on Etsy from all over the world. To experience Etsy in German and to learn more about the specific features, follow these instructions.
Last week, when I dropped into the Forums and asked for community feedback for my upcoming talk at Hello Etsy, “Finding Your Courage,” the response was a testament to the “friendship and closeness” of online communities like Etsy that transcend international borders. Our members interact and build friendships with people all over the world, every day. As Matt of mattjohnsondesigns noted in his post: “I have been ‘favorited’ by people in Berlin, Boston, New York, LA, London, etc. This would have been impossible (or would have taken years) had I not joined Etsy.” As Etsy continues to grow around the world, we will continue to build the community in a way that encourages interaction among people, regardless of where they live or what language they speak.
Thanks to everyone who was so generous with their stories and their feedback on the topic. We’ve come a long way together in the past six years, and we are just getting started delivering Etsy in the languages that people speak all over the world. I hope to see some of you at Hello Etsy in Berlin!