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Re: English - Fluent - Verified (Symbol - blue circle with check-mark)

Community Guru
Ronald T Member Since: Sep 14, 2009
1 of 11

Members have been discussing the blue "verified" check-mark next to English proficiency information in freelancer profiles (a blue circle with a white check-mark in the center that appears in some freelancers' profiles). Apparently this is another feature that oDesk is exploring.

Supposedly this badge is granted when a freelancer adds and verifies a "trustworthy English language certification" or when they have been rated as "Fluent" by clients when contracts were ended.

Ref.: Blue Verified Button (under Languages)

There does not appear to be a clear definition as to what qualifies as a "trustworthy English language certification." It certainly does not require review of the freelancers profile itself. The English - Fluent - Verified symbols I have seen thus far are accompanied by freelancer profile overviews that include obvious errors in grammar, punctuation, and mechanics.


Question: What do you recommend for use as a "trustworthy English language certification"? (Please indicate whether you are primarily a client or freelancer).

Edited 01/08/2015 RT/lwm

Ron aka LanWanMan
Community Guru
Dianne M Member Since: Jul 25, 2013
2 of 11

I find the verification by clients about a freelancer's English fluency totally {insert colourful adjective here}.


Why? How can a client verify that without being a verified native English speaker as well or verified to be fluent with the language too. I keep remembering my client who kept insisting that he's a native English speaker because he's married to a Brit and says pants should be called pant and jeans should be called jean. 


As for Duolingo's test, it is TOO easy to be taken seriously (at least in my opinion).


I'm both a client and freelancer and although I personally prefer TOEFL and IELTS, they are tests/certifications for non-native how do we determine if someone is indeed fluent or if they are truly native English speakers? I just see lots of loopholes.


Here are details about Duolingo shared by Valeria Ronald:


Valeria says: "Hi all, Here are some details about the verification process for English language proficiency that was discussed on this thread previously:


You can have your level of English verified by taking the new English Certification Test, by Duolingo. You will be taking the test on Duolingo, but can post the results on oDesk!


Here are instructions to take the test:


1) Go to

2) Take the English certification test. It's 20 minutes and free for users, but you'll need a valid photo ID and a webcam. It's available in Android, iOS and Chrome desktop.

3) After taking the test, you can add it to your profile by clicking Share Certificate > oDesk.


Please see this screenshot for more information:


Once done, you'll see a "Certification Badge" on your profile and your English language proficiency will be marked "verified.""



❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 11

Just took the test.

I don't know why Dianne thinks it is "too" easy.


I thought it was well designed for its purpose, which is to ascertain whether or not somebody is fluent in speaking English, and probably to evaluate their level of English speaking proficiency.


I didn't think it was "easy", but I don't think it is mean to be "easy" or "hard." I think it may well be a self-adjusting test, because at the end I was filling in blanks in sentences which involved astrophysics and knowledge of college-level chemistry.


I don't think that the test is intended to evaluate the test-taker's expertise as a writer, which is Dianne's bread-and-butter, so maybe that's why she thought it was easy.


Just because somebody can speak English fluently, it doesn't mean they're qualified to work as a professional writer.


Anyway, I now have to wait up to 72 to hours to receive my results from the test, at which time I'll find out if I'm a real boy and maybe earn a blue badge for my oDesk profile.

Community Guru
Dianne M Member Since: Jul 25, 2013
4 of 11

You're wrong about me Preston. Writing is NOT my bread and butter as I've stated so many times in the forum.


I still think it's too easy to get that badge thru client evaluations and the Duolingo test. I've seen and interviewed several freelancers with that badge who got the verified status by taking the test although they are clearly NOT fluent at all.


I don't find it as a relevant test for English skills. The OP is asking for what tests do people find relevant or what English tests are trustworthy enough to be relevant. For me, Duolingo is FAR TOO EASY to be relevant.


Other freelancers have also commented on the test being easy or too easy to pass (or won't call it a REAL English test at all)... here's the link/related thread


...opinions are subjective Preston. What I freelance on is NOT so please don't slap a label on me or what I make a living on to give your badge more credit. If that is not your intent then good, but it looks like that (and I've asked several individuals to have a look at what you said just to make sure I'm not misunderstanding you).


Please don't make such statements again to try to give my post 'less credit'  just because you have taken the test (and found it more difficult). I did say "in my opinion" so just please. If you found it difficult then that's your thing not mine, okay?


It also makes you sound like my talent manager haha! So what percentage of my professional fee do I owe you? Smiley Tongue


Btw, Idk why you would take the Duolingo English test as it's for non-native speakers as far as I know. 


Anyways, KUDOS for your efforts! Here's a blue badge for you Preston! Enjoy!




❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 11


Thank you for your note.


I'm very sorry that I was mistaken about what type of work you do as a freelancer.


As for why I took the Duolingo test, I did it for fun and out of curiosity.


Thank you for the big blue badge, by the way.


I will probably never get an official blue badge certification from Duolingo because while taking their test my head moved out of frame of the camera for 3 seconds when I put my iPad down to type in a sentence on the on-screen keyboard. So... my test was invalid, with no recourse to retake.


So you'll never know for sure if I can speak English or not.

Community Guru
Marcia M Member Since: Apr 3, 2013
6 of 11
A freelancer posted on another thread that he was having trouble getting work. There was a consensus that his English was not good and he should get someone, whose English was better, to help him rewrite his profile. The freelancer himself agreed with this.

This freelancer's profile said fluent in English, with the verified badge.
Community Guru
Mattia G Member Since: Mar 10, 2014
7 of 11

The badge is a really nice feature... well, it could have been, if only it worked properly. I can see that badge on my profile, and I have to admit that I'm pretty proud of my English level (for an average Italian guy who still tries to improve it on a daily basis)... but I must say that it's basically meaningless... some clients said my English is great, that's why I got the badge; but who reviews my clients' English level? Most of them just have a basic understanding of the language (that's what I call an euphemism)...


It all makes me wonder  "who watches the watchmen?"



“Go then, there are other worlds than these.”
―Stephen King, The Gunslinger
Community Guru
Krisztina U Member Since: Aug 7, 2009
8 of 11

Marcia, I'm glad I was not the only one who noticed the English verified badge on said freelancer's profile. It's a little absurd. Letting clients rate the freelancer's language skills makes the badge meaningless.


I was once asked to rate someone's English skills but it wasn't disclosed that this would get them language verified, in which case I would've been more conservative in my rating. Instead, I assumed that if I gave them anything less than fluent, they'd make the auto-hidden list or get reviewed.

Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
9 of 11

Thank you for sharing your opinions about the language verification feature. I understand that clients' feedback, unlike established tests, can be a bit subjective. I will share your feedback with the Team.

~ Valeria
Community Guru
Krisztina U Member Since: Aug 7, 2009
10 of 11

Hi Valeria - the main issue with letting clients rate it is that clients aren't even aware what their rating is for. I believe if clients knew that their single rating would get the freelancer verified, they would be more cautious with the rating and only rate those freelancers they actually spoke with and are comfortable with rating. Of course, informing clients what the rating is for would also pose the risk that the bad apples purposely rate it poorly.


A single client shouldn't be able to verify a freelancers language skills, unless they spent over $100,000 on this site maybe or over $x,xxx with the freelancer. This will ensure that freelancers won't get the badge after completing a $15 task where chances that little communication took place is much greater than on a several thousand dollar contract.

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