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Language Barrier

Active Member
Melanie S Member Since: May 7, 2015
1 of 4

During the interview I certainly noticed that English was not the client's first language.  I thought I understood what was required but I have been asked to revise what I wrote again and again and I don't know what they need.  I think the gap in our language is just too great.  I'm pretty new to upwork and I really don't want to have bad feedback but I'm out of ideas beyond ending this contract.


Any veterans have advice to share?

Community Leader
Julie T Member Since: Sep 29, 2011
2 of 4

Perhaps getting the client to provide a sample of what they want? If a client, regardless of language barrier, is fuzzy about they need, I ask for a sample or give them some different examples from my sample library and ask then to choose something that is close to what they want. 

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Ace Contributor
Alexandra H Member Since: Mar 7, 2015
3 of 4
Agreeing with Julie. And you could also ask you client for exact details of the purpose, target audience, intended effect, etc. of the work product. Sometimes things become clearer even for the clients themselves through turning the focus back on what the work product is actually meant to achieve.
Community Guru
Ronald T Member Since: Sep 14, 2009
4 of 4

As a freelancer interested in maintaining my positive feedback and 5.0 ratings as well as 100% on the new Job Success score, I would avoid clients were a "language barrier" is already known to exist. Even after a written agreement is established, documented, and agreed to, communication and collaboration are key to a successful client-freelancer relationship.


I would call a situation like this "a recipe for disaster"; "designed to fail...."


Please do not mark my replies as BAs -- not that one might; just in case 🙂

Ron aka LanWanMan