Fiverr Community Forum

How to communicate across cultures and countries when doing business on Fiverr

One thing that I’ve learned is that I try not appropriate, like if I get Australian client, I don’t try to use words like “mate” (even if I normally do) or “Cheerios” if I got UK client (No one really uses it though anymore, lol) or like one time, I wished an American client happy 4th of July but it turns out, she wasn’t in to celebrating it so that was awkward.

I try to keep it professional, to the point, polite and respectful. I believe as long as you do these things, you can even connect to aliens positively :slight_smile: Just my two cents.


I only wish my buyers merry something in return if they start that conversation first. It’s just safer this way.

And even then I have to sometimes play along and accept Christmas greetings on December 25th even though I’m raised an orthodox Christian so it’s January 7th for us. But hey, the more greetings the better. :slight_smile:


Aliens :alien: do not care how polite you are nor do they have an interest in being polite. They do not pay attention to our customs at all.
Just be businesslike at all times. Do not call anyone anything, not bro, dear, mate, nothing.


A lot of women are not just uncomfortable when an unknown male calls them “dear”, they find it creepy, too.

I remember someone mentioning that in Nigeria it would be extremely rude to address someone older than you like that. “Sir” is mandatory for them.


How would you know on the internet if someone is older than you? The best thing to do is not call anyone anything. I had a seller calling me madam a lot and for a while didn’t realize this was probably the custom in his country. I don’t think I’ve ever been called that. I wondered why he kept calling me that. I finally mentioned it to him in a way that probably sounded rude to him.


It’s just as creepy to me when a woman calls me dear. It’s extremely condescending. I don’t want to work with anyone who does that.


UK perspective: when someone calls me “madam” in real life, it’s disconcerting. “Madam” is for old people.

“Ma’am” is for the Queen, a female superior officer, or an employer if you’re in some kind of service. Even then, your cleaner or children’s nanny won’t call you “ma’am” - they’ll use your name.

“Dear” - and even “ducks” is still in use occasionally in the North of England. It’s considered pretty inappropriate everywhere else - sexist, you know.

In Scotland, where I live, you occasionally hear the term “hen” in relation to females, from shop staff, neighbours, tradesmen etc. I quite like it for the warm fuzzies … but wouldn’t like it in a formal setting, like Fiverr. Or basically outside Scotland.

“Dear”, in particular, is generally used towards women. It’s considered sexist and condescending in western nations. No female likes it … and it may well get a terse response: “don’t call me dear”


I wouldn’t, of course. The person who said it was young, and I think they were addressing everyone as “Sir”, just in case.


Being called “dear” is so gross. Maybe not for everybody. But for me it seems inappropriate for anybody other than my grandma to call me that. And even she only calls me by my name.


That’s the worst, mind.

Dear. :joy:


I honestly think that suggesting that dear is gross or condescending is a bit of an exaggeration.

I’ve never known the term to be used in the West in anything but an informal polite way. It has never made sense using the word in a formal sense or to imply anything like a gender stereotype.

I think it needs to be remembered that people using the word ‘dear’ on Fiverr are usually from former UK colonial outposts.

These are places where in many cases, British English became the official language in very short space of time. In this case, the term ‘dear’ being used in official documents like “Dear Sir, your tax is due,” likely gave many people the impression that ‘dear’ is/was a civilized and posh way to start correspondence.

In short, the term is not derogatory or (in my opinion) ever used to infer anything like a prejudice toward anyone of any gender. If anything, it is a linguistic quirk.

Of course, it is still not appropriate to use in a professional sense on Fiverr. However, I think it is a bit of a reach to imply that it is offensive. If anything, you could argue that it is offensive for people to be so outraged that people from other cultures aren’t as hip with latest Western communication norms.


That might be, but I’m not into stating my age at the beginning of conversations here on Fiverr. It might be different if you’re in a working environment in Nigeria, but some international etiquette will go a long way.

But this is exactly my point: try to avoid anything that might be seen as inappropriate by anyone, and try to consider that people mean well, even if their way of communicating seems strange to you.

What surprises me is that so many of the sellers from countries where “dear” etc. is being used are dealing with Americans or westerners daily - yet still haven’t grasped the concept of intimate boundaries for us.

In my previous line of work, I dealt with product purchases for a rather large chain of vape shops, and we dealt a lot with Chinese distributors. When professional-level customer reps in a company are doing deals in the million USD class, starting with “dear” and dealing with westerners, I think that speaks to the issue.

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@smashradio I agree with all these points Thanks For Share

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I understand that in other cultures it’s acceptable but not here. It may be a reach to you but not to us. And some of the states were former UK outposts. It’s all dependent on your culture ****. That’s the first time I’ve ever called anyone that. It sounds horrible to me. I’m erasing it. I can’t even write that as a joke. :deer:

I know psychics who call everyone dear and it’s acceptable to me in those circumstances for some reason. It’s part of their lingo that I’m accustomed to.

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I am not exaggerating when I say that it grosses me out :roll_eyes:


Indeed. Apparently you think it is okay to imply that I am a whatever **** means, in a reply to a post in which I was clearly attempting to clarify why some people might use the word ‘dear’ and why others might not want to feel offended.

Clearly, your idea of what constitutes offense is very different from mine.

**** meant the word dear. Touchy. You said you are ok with it. I changed it to **** because it seems wrong to me to call anyone that. I wanted to try it out to see if I could do it with someone who thinks it’s ok but it still didn’t seem right. It has a connotation of superiority to call someone that.

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I’m also an American living in the UK, and I feel pretty confident that if I asked any of my girlfriends how they felt about being called “dear”, particularly by a man, they would more or less agree that it feels like a condescending choice. A lot of men over here say “lovely,” as a term of endearment - that to me doesn’t feel condescending, it’s just something people say. “Dear” has a whole different meaning in my mind, and I know I’m not alone in feeling that way.


Neither am I exaggerating about the historical context of a completely alien language being forced on a pretty massive population over a relatively short space of time.

If you feel so grossed out, that is fine. However, I was just trying to clarify the context.

Lets say for example, that where you live comes under the linguistic jurisdiction of China tomorrow. If that did happen, you would probably hope to be forgiven for not speaking expert Mandarin on Fiverr.

I am a staunch defender of people learning English as a second language. I never said I would be angry or impatient about someone for not knowing the nuances of English speaking. I’m literally JUST saying that it feels gross to be called “dear”. You said you think that’s an exaggeration, and so I said no it isn’t. That’s all