I have conversed with people from France and Germany. It’s been pretty awesome. Silly, I know but I don’t speak French or German so this could have been a huge challenge.
Let me explain. I listed a number of craft supplies on eBay last week. Usually I mark the items North America only but I forgot. When I realized I thought, “Oh, no one outside the U.S. will buy any of this.” Boy, was I wrong. A number of items sold to people in Europe. I started receiving questions in German and French. I opened the messages and had one of those “oh, crap!” moments because I thought how am I going to do this? Then I thought for a second, “D’uh! Google Translate!” I have been able to communicate seamlessly with customers from France and Germany. In every email I typed both the english version and the translated version in hopes that if Google Translate did not translate correctly the english version was readily available.
Was this anything phenomenal? No, but it made me realize how easy technology can make communication around the world. Of course my first reaction was “I’m just a stupid American” since I am not multilingual but in this case, technology made me a little smarter.