Etsy Starts Taking Translation Seriously [Updated]

    November 12, 2013
    Chris Crum

Update: If comments from Etsy users are any indication, Etsy is perhaps not taking translation as seriously as it ought to be (See comments at end of article).

Etsy announced on Tuesday that it has added millions of local language listings in French, German, Italian, and Spanish-speaking countries. This is a major effort in the company’s international expansion.

While Etsy is already selling merchandise in 200 countries, and has had the site translated into English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Russian, until now, most of the listings still only appeared in English. You can see why this might have been a problem for users speaking these other languages trying to search for items to buy.

Etsy is rolling out automatic translation of all sellers’ listings into English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian, and is making them available in local language searches. Obviously this means a great deal more potential for selling items as well.

Etsy translation

“The result is a dramatic increase in the listings that appear in these local languages — in some cases, up from thousands to millions of listings,” says Etsy’s Brittany Williams. “This is a huge opportunity for increased sales to buyers around the world looking for the unique, one-of-a-kind items found on Etsy, who may have been stumped previously by English-only listings. Note: You need to support shipping to these markets in order for your listings to show up in local search results.”

Etsy says that if you’re already doing your own translations, you should continue to do so, but for those who aren’t, the company’s efforts should help a great deal.

The new translations also apply to listings on Google Shopping and its product listing ads (which Etsy sayshas been a huge source of traffic).

“Since we launched GPLA, they’ve generated over 73 million visits and have become an increasingly important source of site traffic, including many new visitors to Etsy,” says Williams. “We’ll begin with GPLA in French and German and will be launching them soon in Spanish and Italian. We hope this will drive additional holiday traffic to your shops, especially from new customers!”

Finally, the company is launching a tool for sellers that lets them translate on-site messages to and from buyers and a world map view and ship-to suggestions in Shop Stats.

Image: Etsy