Fiverr Community Forum

Tips For Sellers Who Are Not Native English Speakers

Ok, you want to make some money but you do not speak English well.
This is a real problem when you are going to sell on a marketplace where most buyers do and most communication is done through English. It can be done though, here are some tips for you to follow which will help you while you are working on your English.

  1. Be realistic about your gigs - Do not try to offer gigs that require excellent English. If you want to offer a writing gig, ask a native English speaker to be honest with you about something you have written. Ask them if it is good enough to pay for. If not, don’t write.
    Proofreading is something that most native English speakers are not qualified to do, it requires an excellent understanding of English including grammar, punctuation and sentence structure to name a few. It’s just not a gig for you, try it and it will leave you with bad reviews.

  2. If you do not understand what someone has said, SAY I DON’T UNDERSTAND! - This is the most annoying thing for me as a buyer. People pretending they understand what I say and then doing the completely wrong thing. Just ask the buyer to explain it better, they will.
    I ask buyers this all the time when I don’t understand what they want, so should you.

  3. Learn the key words and phrases of your gig - Whatever gig you offer, there will be other people who do the same as you. Look up websites about what you are offering. If it’s computer related, go to a technology website forum and get involved. If it’s logo design, do the same. Whatever it is, knowing the key phrases will make a huge difference.

  4. Work on your English. Read English newspapers, websites, blogs and watch English speaking TV, mix with English speakers when you can. It will all help. (Try to make sure that the English you are learning is proper English, if it is from someone else who can’t speak English well then you will just make the same mistakes as them)

  5. Don’t take it personally when someone says they don’t understand you or if they question how good your English is before they buy. Let them know that you don’t speak English well but that your work is good and you will ask them to explain anything you don’t understand. If they don’t order after that, don’t worry, it’s probably better that they don’t if they are not prepared to make some effort to communicate well.

  6. Read the Fiverr Terms of Service and the Forum Do’s and Dont’s. What may be perfectly good to do in your culture can be seen badly by other cultures. This is not a judgement by anyone, it is just a fact that sometimes causes problems. Reading the rules will mean you don’t offend people or worse, get your account suspended.

There is lots more I could say about this but I will finish this post there. Many people love working with people from other countries, myself included. I believe that working with different nationalities and cultures can produce fantastic results as there is different ideas and inspiration that can come from it. Be inspired.

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I want my money back, I couldn’t find anything to nitpick at!

(seriously though, good job)

Thanks, hot topic at the moment… and probably always

I hope the ones who need to see this see it.

If you are not a native English speaker don’t offer proofreading gigs thinking you can just use an online proofreading site. They do not work. You will not be able to fool people with these.

English is not an easy language to learn. You can’t fake it. Try to study the rules of English grammar. The results will be a huge help to you in earning money online.

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I can’t really add much to what Eoin has said, but if you can, and your work is centered on graphics or other projects that do not require a good command of English, consider hiring a native speaker to take care of your customer relations.

Those of you who use “dear”, and you’re most likely from the Indian subcontinent. This is a cultural thing that nobody else does. You sound weird and creepy when you do it. I know you’re trying to show respect, but that is not how it seems in English. Don’t do it (this is incredibly difficult to explain since I don’t fully understand it–if an Indian would like to help out that would be great!). Aside from improving your English and working within the limitations of your current English, you need to know the cultural practices of global business–right now, that’s US business. There’s small variations in other nations, but learn US business best practice and 99% of the time, you should be OK. That means no more “dears” among other things that are fine in your home country and town.

I’m in Europe, and $5 isn’t that much here. It’s worth a lot more in other places. If you’re in a country where it goes further, awesome. Put that work in, because you’re getting so much extra value out of Fiverr than some of us! Don’t let your English skills prevent you from making the most of it.

This is an opportunity. Take it, it’s yours.


If one person will listen, then it’s enough. I love reading tips for new sellers that have real thought and info behind them. I learn too!

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YES! The “dear” and “sir” thing irritate me! If you are the same age as a buyer then calling them “sir” is very odd. It might be appropriate if they are 30 years older than you, but even then I wouldn’t do it. “Dear” is never ok.


Every time someone here calls me “dear” it is irritating and yet a good indication we are not a match. It sounds as if they are trying to convince me they are fond of me but it’s so inappropriate. It sounds condescending.

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I did see a really interesting post on Reddit about it. I’ll go look, but I may end up looking at cat pictures or reading retail horror stories instead.

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I can’t find it. Closest I can get, and it has Bad Words in it.

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Always a risk on Reddit. I always liken it to a woman I know who calls everyone “love” or “pet”. It’s ok when it’s her (although strange when I first met her) but when it’s someone I don’t know…

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but the whole love/duck/pet thing is a term of affection from Northerners (UK). In Greece, the affectionate term is created by adding a suffix that means ‘little’ (as in cute). In my personal life, that’s awesome, but professionally? “Can you give this another lookover, duck?”

Not really going to translate after you’re 100 miles out of Sheffield (UK)…

EDIT: I know you didn’t want a Greek lesson, but my username is literally “Little Emma”, with the -aki suffix. I could have opted for the -oula suffix, but I liked Emmaki better, dear

It’s “sir” to you Little Emma!

Dear sir dear…

Thank you for providing these tips for sellers. As a buyer, there is nothing more frustrating than bad communication skills or poor grammar. I’m sorry if it sounds harsh but Fiverr is where most, if not entirely, all your customers will speak english so it is important you know how to communicate with us. I won’t even look at a gig if I see - right off the bat – poor grammar, spelling, etc. It’s frustrating.

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you should sub to r/subredditdrama. Today’s special was a ketamine addict who stole K from a vet and wanted to sue the vet because the K was shit.

They have an subreddit for Fiverr, too. Not very active, I check it out once every so often.

I don’t think it’s harsh at all. It’s just unfortunate that most sellers who need to listen to this advice won’t. Best thing you can do as a buyer is not work with them.

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I have been trying to stay away from Reddit - such a time consumer! That said, I’m down to one job waiting so I may need something to pass the time soon

As some here know, “dear” drives me crazy and of course, as a woman, being called “sir” is only a compliment in certain science fiction universes. Stick with standards that fit everyone or just don’t use a title. Thanks for the great post.

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I treat myself between gigs!