Tips for non-native English speakers


#1

Hi all,



I have noticed many people are not using the indefinite article on their gig pages. This means your sales text does not flow.



Here are some tips.


  1. We use the indefinite article, a/an, with count nouns when the hearer/reader does not know exactly which one we are referring to:



    Police are searching for a 14 year-old girl.


  2. We also use it to show the person or thing is one of a group:



    She is a pupil at London Road School.



    Police have been searching for a 14 year-old girl who has been missing since Friday.



    Jenny Brown, a pupil at London Road School, is described as 1.6 metres tall with short blonde hair.



    She was last seen wearing a blue jacket, a blue and white blouse and dark blue jeans and blue shoes.



    Anyone who has information should contact the local police on 0800349781.




  3. We do not use an indefinite article with plural nouns and uncount nouns:



    She was wearing blue shoes. (= plural noun)

    She has short blonde hair. (= uncount noun)

    Police have been searching for a 14 year-old girl who has been missing since Friday.



    Jenny Brown, a pupil at London Road School, is described as 1.6 metres tall with short blonde hair.



    She was last seen wearing a blue jacket, a blue and white blouse and dark blue jeans and blue shoes.



    Anyone who has information should contact the local police on 0800349781.
  4. We use a/an to say what someone is or what job they do:



    My brother is a doctor.

    George is a student.


  5. We use a/an with a singular noun to say something about all things of that kind:



    A man needs friends. (= All men need friends)

    A dog likes to eat meat. (= All dogs like to eat meat)

    Good English = Great Sales!

#2

You also need to keep in mind that not every English word translates directly into another language. Yes there are words that represent singular and plural words however when spoken in said language, the sentence structure often implies what is communicated.



Even if something is written as a translation of another language to English, I can get the gist of what’s communicated. When communicating back, I tend to form my sentences in a way that will make translating less of a hassle for the non-Native English speaker.


#3

Reply to @ianhamshaw: Don’t cancel your gig, do your thing. I have considered offering a similar gig myself. I don’t think helping someone create a better gig is the problem. Likely the people that use your service aren’t the ones that claim to be something they are not. Rather they just want people to better understand the service they offer and there is nothing wrong with that.

As long as they aren’t pretending to be Kevin from Maryland when really they are Habib Karim from Pakistan and can’t even spell the word “English”, then I say help them out. They may be the best logo designer you have ever seen but don’t know how to tell people that in which case they deserve assistance. I have helped someone like that before just because I didn’t want them to be ignored because they were from a foreign country and didn’t list English as a first language. The person I helped was honest about who they were and where they were from. In my opinion, that’s respectable person.


#4

madmoo, I totally agree with your thoughts. For my own end I wanted to establish a gig in the already bloated world of editing. I too (used) to skip profiles with horrific English.



I’ve read plenty of posts about using proxy servers so you appear as a US seller but then the gig description is woeful. I figured if someone’s gig was installing software (example) and they have very little need for communication, such as a description of a logo, then a well structured gig description would see an increase of traffic?



I suppose some sellers will always look to blag their way around and others will actively seek to improve their gig in all respects.



topaz_muse, I also agree with you. Today I read a superb post by a level 1 seller who spelt seller wrong in the title. My point here is if you see a post that says ‘Tips for sellar’ would you click on it knowing first hand that you will (probably) have to limp through the text? In the case of the post I read it was superb and the English almost perfect.


#5

Reply to @ianhamshaw: You mentioned the sellers that appear as US sellers. This is one of my biggest issues that I see all the time! Foreign sellers, claiming to be from the US or claiming English as their primary language when it couldn’t be farther from the truth!

They do it to try to trick buyers into making a purchase and it’s so irritating. Obviously the buyer is going to realize the truth when they get their first message from the seller that says something like “Hi to you, my name John. First I say thank for your purchasing gig. What you want me to do?” At this point the buyer becomes furious for being lied to and mislead. As they should feel!

If they would just be honest and say where they are really from and list their primary language as their first language, then a buyer would understand the facts and be more likely to look over the Google translate responses the seller provides.

I wish Fiverr based the location off of GPS and required a short equivalency test for languages. That would be nice!


#6

My personal favorite is folks claiming to be from the US, English as their first language, and they have a WRITING gig, but their bio and gig descriptions look they written by Baby Huey. It runs along the lines of, “I write good for you now in places.” Then they hop on here in the forums and cry about not getting any orders. “Why no buyers like me? I Fiverr two weeks now no money. What did wrong?” I think I have an idea.



#7

Reply to @missashley8705 and @theslackjaw.



On reflection of my efforts to improve the standards of English, may well be helping to increase the deception, which is not good. I’m seriously considering pulling my gig. I have felt all the frustrations that are listed on this post and thought I had found a niche to explore, but it feels that I am adding to what is already a massive problem.



This is not self-pity just musings that my gig might be detrimental to other Fiverr users.



#8

Reply to @ianhamshaw: I agree with @missashley8705. Someone willing to spend money to get help sprucing up their gig probably isn’t the one hopping on trying to make an easy buck or thinking Fiverr is a get rich quick scheme. You may get one or two every now and again but unless you are getting that vibe from all of your buyers…I would leave it up. But that’s just me.


#9

Reply to @theslackjaw. I am new to Fiverr and have enjoyed (starting) to learn how Fiverr works. I am on the cusp of giving up this idea of gig editing. I think there are only a handful of people who want editing help with their gigs.