Fiverr Forum

I Don't Speak English - Let Me Critique Your Writing Anyway

It’s times like this that I wish I could block specific countries from ordering from me.

A buyer from a country where I know not to accept orders from if I can help it contacted me last week. I’ve literally never had a buyer from this country who hasn’t needed tons of pointless revisions. I say they are pointless, as clearly there is a huge language barrier.

In one case, a buyer wanted me to use keywords like “handgun” and “zombie knife” in a sales copy for a HD camera drone. - It gets that crazy.

Long story short, I told the most recent buyer that I couldn’t help. Later, they ordered anyway and sent me a short sales copy to rewrite. Most of this read like childish word soup. However, I was able to research the product and brand to create a flawless new copy. - Then comes the revision.

The buyer is unhappy that their new copy doesn’t read like the alphabet spaghetti of their original. At this point, I would usually just cancel. I’d rather take a cancellation penalty over someone with no basic language skills leaving me a review saying I’m a rubbish writer. However, I decided to provide a revision.

As well as just revising my original copy, I have also delivered an extra free version which I have purposefully written to sound more like their alphabet spaghetti original. I have a feeling though, that they won’t be happy with either.

What I can’t wrap my head around is why people like this order from writers like myself in the first place?

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You are not alone. I had a similar experience and the non-English speaker critiqued my work with Google Translate… so I understand your issue here.

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I doubt there is a responsible solution to this language barrier on Fiverr except you decide to express disinterest in the specific countries in your gigs; and this is probably impossible too.

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I had a buyer once complain that my articles weren’t readable in Spanish. Apparently, they were using Google to translate everything I wrote to post on Spanish websites and social media pages. I don’t think they even had an English language site. - Naturally, it was my fault that people were leaving negative comments, not the buyers for not just hiring a Spanish writer.

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Only slightly related, but I had a buyer once from a certain country, who thought my Norwegian voice-over didn’t sound enough like Norwegian. I found that strange, of course, since I’m a native Norwegian, and speak the standard dialect used by radio and tv-presenters. But he wouldn’t budge - claiming he wanted an “authentic Norwegian sound”. This went on for about a week before I ended up asking if he wanted to try with a different dialect, and so I did exactly that. With my fake, over the top mid-country dialect - sounding like a drunk farmer from deep inside the bush (and I mean over the top!) the gig was approved and the buyer was super happy.

So glad I didn’t include it as a portfolio sample.

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It’s the same situation. In writing, people like this are also sample junkies. They can’t possibly place an order without seeing lots of samples. This helps me avoid most of them, as I do not giveaway samples.

I don’t know whether people like this really believe they are linguistic experts, or whether they are just scammers hoping you give up and cancel.

With my current buyer, they initially reached out a couple of weeks ago. In this case, I have a feeling that they might have already hired other sellers, before canceling their order and moving on to others to see if they get better results.

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@cyaxrex
Hi - I thought clicking on your name would bring me to your profile - oops
Can I ask what you write ? I’m having the opposite problem. As a buyer, I’ve placed 3 orders. The first was total plagiarism - like 100% - title and all (I was refunded). The second was (thankfully) not plagiarized, but clearly either translated or written by someone not overly familiar with the English language. I received it today. The third is still in process and I am dreading receipt.
One thing common in all 3 orders was they each messaged / answered questions etc with what appeared to be proper American grammar - initially. After the order was placed responses were worded strangely with broken English.

Anyway - I’m rambling. I came to the forum to see what other buyers are doing to avoid this. I read your rant and thought “Wow! That person speaks English!” My questions are:
What type of writing orders do you sell ? Also, do you make it clear that you speak English as your primary language in your profile - because if it’s allowed, you should.
Other than politely reminding sellers that many languages do not translate well… Please only respond if you can complete the order using proper grammar and word usage blah blah blah, how can I find an actual English speaking writer like yourself ?
This may sound sarcastic but it’s not meant to be. I was honestly under the impression that Fiverr was a scam until I read your rant.

Denice