Fiverr Community Forum

Why do people that don't speak english (and don't even try to) want to buy from fiverr?

I’m no native speaker, and I DO know Spanish, English, Portuguese, and a bit of Japanese. However, it’s impossible to learn all languages. So, dear God, help me with this, cause I don’t wanna people trying to buy from me without even TRYING to communicate in one of those languages I know. One guy that knew only Arabic simply bought a service I don’t provide and was even rude (thru google translate) when I started asking questions. Even though I state on all my gigs that buyers should always contact me and explain what they want before ordering!


Yeah. I just had and incredibly irritating experience with a buyer for a set of drawings. Clearly didn’t know english, and even after delivering the item (after sending a sample) and me requesting more details they asked for a revision (writing like, 3 words about “this is wrong”, not helping me to understand) and then cancelled.

And a better question, why do those people want to sell on Fiverr? The amount of sellers with totally broken english is too damn high, and it paints a terrible picture of the platform. At least the buyer conversations the general public doesn’t get to see.


Plenty of English speakers can’t/won’t even explain what they want incl budget expectations, so it is not a language thing so much as a Hipster entitlement thing.

Descartes: I think, therefore I am
Homo Facebookus: I want, therefore I deserve

Of course they are the first to complain (and scream like 3-year-olds) when they don’t get exactly what they believe they deserve. The less willing they are to articulate, the more angry they get.


It happens buddy , we all deal with people that know what they want but they just can’t describe it or provide any direction. They will know it if they see it though. Over the years I have had some bad experiences with customers like what you have described. It’s going to happen. The good news is you can recover from a cancellation. It’s better then having a bad review. It’s possible that the customer didn’t know there is a translation tool on Fiverr.

That’s why it’s so important to vet buyers. First, on price, to just eliminate the extreme low ballers right away. Then, with conversation prior to the order, to try to get rid of the unreasonable expectations.


Are we really normalizing prejudice against other users (whether buyers or sellers) over the languages they speak?

You lot should get out of your bubble and see how nicely you’d be treated if you were the one that couldn’t speak their language.

I’m not saying it can’t be challenging or stressful, or even that you can’t pass working on a project with someone you can’t easily understand but suggesting they shouldn’t be here altogether is wrong anyway you put it.

And no, the fact that you’re not a native speaker doesn’t make it okay to look down on others like that.

We all come from different walks of life, given different opportunities, so it’s great if you learned a number of languages, but not everyone had the same opportunity…so be kind!


Absolultely NO ONE has indicated anything like this. Accusations of racism are not warranted here.
Matter of fact they do more damage than good in this matter.

The OP states that he is not a native English speaker
I directly say that it is not even a language thing as white/cis/hetero/male… whatever other hate-filled labels you must attach are just as clueless about the method of doing business which is communication.



This is a business platform. If I was here looking to buy, and didn’t speak english, I would look for sellers that spoke my native language. You simply can’t deal with someone you can’t communicate with.

This has nothing to do with “opportunity”. I had some guy message me in german the other day. I said I didn’t speak it, and he switched to english immediately. So it’s not always a matter of skill, but attitude.

In any case, if you’re a seller and can’t speak proper english, you either target the people who speak your language (and depending on what it is, that can be an extremely small market), or you may as well give up. It’s an essential skill, if you don’t have it you really can’t do it successfully for long. Unless you offer some pre-made thing that needs no explanation or customisation, then sure.


Racism is a form of prejudice, but nowhere I used the term racism which obviously do not apply here.

I have also liked your post, which should be an indication that I agree to your pov and also think that it has nothing to do with the language they speak but rather a entitlement thing.

The title of the post is “Why do people that don’t speak english want to buy from here” and then followed by “why do those people want to sell on Fiverr?”

So I’ll have to disagree that no one indicated anything like this

And I explained why. I get why they want to - in many cases they saw some youtube video claiming easy money to be made, and they are in need. But the fact is it won’t work if you don’t have the skills. They won’t make any sell. Communication is the single most important skill to have as a freelancer, even more important than any technical skills in your field. It allows you to assess what you can and can’t do based on a brief, it allows you to steer the process and guide the client, it allows you to price and justify price, it allows you to process feedback correctly, etc.

A seller that can’t speak the client’s language, will fail at all that. And that does diminish the platforms reputability. Just saw a post on reddit today by a buyer complaining about precisely that after posting a buyer request. And saying they will never hire anyone on Fiverr again because of it.

If you can’t speak english, that’s fine - offer your gigs in the language you speak, to clients that speak it. But you know that doesn’t happen. Everyone and their mother has “english - fluent” on their profile, when most are anything but.


Thanks for the like & support but I still think that you are being literalistic and therefore putting words into people’s mouths (as opposed to hearing them for what they mean). A modern habit and a very damaging one.

English is the official (and I believe only) language of Fiverr. Just as I would expect French to be the language d’une Croissantierrie dans Paris.

Coming to a place where communication is central to the success of the experience and not doing all you can to communicate clearly sends a very dim view of yourself*


*just as the way the Brits used to shout at foreigners on the assumption that being louder would solve their inability to a) try to speak the language, b) find a more natural bridge based on pointing & smiling made them hated.


I think we have to be a bit careful with the “English is THE language on Fiverr” since they introduced several “local Fiverrs”.

It’s still a bit off but probably not too off if people who get to know Fiverr through their local language interface might get confused and assume anyone they can contact in that language, will understand and reply in that language, especially if they see an automatic translation of the gig of a seller they contact. They might not realise that it’s an automatic translation.

I’ve had someone contact me in French, someone even order a gig only to then cancel right away, after they apparently realised I don’t offer anything to do with French (perhaps the gig requirement page does not get auto-translated and spurred that realisation?); that was after the local French Fiverr had been launched.

I also think I didn’t see that paragraph about needing a good working command of English in order to participate on Fiverr (forgot the wording but something along those lines) anymore last time I looked for it, and that was already before the Help Pages restructuring, so I don’t think it was accidentally lost; but I might just have missed it, I didn’t dig.

Not sure what the explanation would be for people to contact sellers in a language that doesn’t yet have a “local Fiverr”, though, but for that handful of languages, it might explain the “entitlement” in some cases.

Unrelated rant: why does the forum flash at me barcode-like every few seconds (app), no fun like this…



Mate, there’s a difference between discrimination and communication barriers. I’m quite certain that most people are willing to work with a client even if it means slogging through endless questions until the requirements are clarified.

The problem is that tons of people rely on G Translate to carry them which is a terrible way to do business with another person who doesn’t speak your language.

Some people are likely either not equipped or don’t have the time to work with someone who clearly needs patience with their communication because of language barriers. It’s incredibly frustrating to deliver an order you thought met the other person’s requirements only to be met with complaints and no better explanations than you started with simply because they can’t tell you any differently.

Nobody’s looking down on anyone and I think it’s ridiculous to come to such a conclusion when language barriers are a real problem when money is being exchanged. I speak Mandarin Chinese at an intermediate level but I likely won’t be negotiating a transaction with a native speaker on my own. Not just for my sake but for theirs as well.


I would imagine with so many sellers that there would be tons of different languages represented here

1 Like

English is still the official version of the site - TOS mentions it a lot. For example:

“The original language of these Terms of Service, as well as all other texts throughout the Site, is English. Fiverr makes available this translation for convenience only. In case of conflicts between the original English version and any translation, the English version shall prevail.”


I think you should be careful this this kind of buyer.
I sucpect this is one of the scam buyer.
If your buyer can’t provide you with clear detailed project instructions, i suggest NOT to accept this project.
If buyer do fast order (without contacting you first)…, better to think about mutual cancellation.
or contact Fiverr CS.

Wish you luck,

Yikes, I’m really trying to let this topic go because I’m not really trying to change anyone’s opinion, and I believe it can go sideways real quick, but…

I never used the word racism, neither have I used the word discrimination and yet both have been attributed to my message, which wasn’t edited and can be read in full a few messages up.

Other than a clearly misunderstanding of the words prejudice, racism and discrimination and its meanings it seems you’re also glossing over the fact I said

The only thing I have a problem with is suggesting that the platform would be better off if people with “broken english” wouldn’t take part on it.

While that may very well be true, I don’t wish to live in a word that’s okay to dismiss an entire group of people just because they represent an incoveniennce to our view of the world.

If you don’t want to work with someone, for whatever reason, by all means don’t work with them. It’s your right (within reason).

I too pass on projects of people that can’t communicate in a clear way (whether in english or not) as I understand the importance of communication in our line of work.


While my interpretation may differ from yours I’m quoting their sentences literally so I haven’t put words in anyone’s mouth, and no, I don’t believe I’m being to literal here either.

I could just as easily dismiss you as being too lenient over, what I believe are, serious matters. Not a modern habit but just as damaging.

But I rather believe we both read the same thing, but due to our own personal bias we have different interpretations, and while that’s okay I think that not admitting that the general tone of those messages (again, not yours which was on point) are that the platform would be better off if people with “broken english” wouldn’t take part on it.

To really end my participation on this topic, this is how I see it, and it’s imperative for my message to be understood in its original context that the difference between the words prejudice, racism and discrimination are clearly understood. A quick Google could help with that.

  1. I won’t work on your project because I can’t understand YOU = Personal/Language Barrier

  2. Why do PEOPLE THAT DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH (and don’t even try to) want to buy from fiverr? = Group of people/Prejudice

  3. And a better question, why do THOSE PEOPLE want to sell on Fiverr? = Group of people/Prejudice

Ps: While pointing the differences between words and suggesting research on them I’m not being condescending, but rather just pointing out that that may have been what triggered your answers. Again: I never used the terms racism and discrimination and I agree that using them would be: “clueless” and “ridiculous” as you both said.

Ps 2: I’ve always spoke highly of you @visualstudios and will continue to do so. I really like your participation here, and the same goes to @benedictrm, and while I’m not as familiar with @yannisenglish I also appreciate your participation on the topic While these messages can be perceived as personal I assure that’s not my intention.

Wishing everyone that read this far a great weekend ahead!


Yes, definitely. I was just referring to the handful of languages since they launched “local Fiverr” for Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, and Italy, so far/that I know of. I followed the first local Fiverr launch for Germany, and they have an office in Berlin, some German twitter person, content in German, and if a customer joins Fiverr through the “local German Fiverr”, and sees everything in German, I guess it’s a possibility that some of them might think that the gigs they see are by sellers who speak German.
Was just to make sellers who maybe aren’t aware of the “local Fiverrs” aware of it, so maybe they’ll not consider buyers who message in any of those “local Fiverr languages” entitled right away, I think there’s a really good chance that they simply weren’t aware that it’s an English language site, generally.

That’s true, I guess, but if you use, for example, the local site, everything you see at first is German, even the link names in the footer … and while when you click “Nutzungsbedingungen” there, you get to the English ToS page … well, we know how many people actually click and read …
I’m not defending anyone or anything here, however, just wanted to add this perspective to make people aware it might not be entitlement in all cases and could add to less resentment against or even rejection of a new potential buyer.

I was referring to the bit that used to be somewhere “less official” but very strongly worded, it was talking only about sellers specifically (cue the “Fiverr favours buyers” ;)), and how their English must be … whatever it said, I couldn’t find the paragraph anymore last time I looked for it, and was wondering whether it had been deliberately taken down since the launch of the “local Fiverrs”.
But you are certainly right with ToS mentioning it, and now I’m wondering about the concept a bit. Of course, it’s possible that they have people in the local Fiverr offices who could deal with trouble in the local language, but there is no clear “curtain” between local and global Fiverr, so I can understand if new users who join via a local site might be confused and think the (automatically translated) gigs they see mean that they are by sellers who talk their language.
I clicked the German links for login and registering too, which both are in German, although I guess maybe if I’d go on to register an account (obviously can’t do that just for testing purposes) it would switch to English at some point.
Oh well, whatever, not really important; obviously, you should read the ToS when you sign up, and that should tell you it’s still an English language site, even if your interface is in another language.

This was one of my points also with the whole local Fiverr thing - if Fiverr sets up local sites in the languages of different people who join the site via a local site in that language (and, as I mentioned, there’s also actual local “content”, even videos), they obviously think they should be here very much. There’s still the “English ToS point”, of course, I’m not completely sure how their concept consolidates that with kind of inviting people who might not speak English well or at all in their own language, maybe the idea is that everyone who’d use the site speaks enough English and/or can figure out the rest with Google Translate, to make it work, or that people from A who don’t know English would still buy gigs from people from A, people from B who … and so on.

1 Like