charlieecpa
Member

Not Fluent in English Warning????

Migrated my account over from Elance some days ago, and decided to apply for a job just to get the feel of the process. 

 

When submitting the proposal, I received a warning sign stating something along the lines of "You are not fluent in English. The client will be notified of this"....

 

I was born and raised in New York City, so why am I receiving this silly message, and why is the client being told that I do not speak fluent English????

 

I'm guessing because I chose "native english speaker",  and the individual who coded the website failed to realize that native supercedes fluent?....

 

Obviously this is another design flaw with the website.

 

My questions is, why hasn't this been fixed?

 

I recall someone posting this same issue several weeks ago...

 

So many bugs and technical issues with this platform, and they are not being addressed...What is going on with this company?

 

Surely all of the numerous issues with this website could be fixed in a matter of days. 

39 REPLIES 39
fergusm1970
Member

"Surely all of the numerous issues with this website could be fixed in a matter of days."

 

Surely they should have been identified and fixed before the new design was even rolled out? It is not reasonable to use people who rely on the platform for a significant part of their income as beta testers.

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.― George Orwell

Obviously the English fluency warning is a dumb error on the part of programmers who implemented it. They were either coding carelessly or do not understand English proficiently themselves.

 

I actually disagree with those who think extensive beta-testing is necessary for all new features and changes. If programmed in a thoughtful, modular way, new features and changes can be made which either work correctly or they don't.

 

NOT warning a native English speaker that he isn't fluent in English is something simple enough that a single coder could implement it within the job requirements warning system, show it to a single manager for brief demonstration testing approval, and then fold the code into the live site without a formal beta testing stage.

lol changes take a couple of days? When was the last time you worked on enterprise level apps? Remember, they aren't freelancers. They get paid if they have a bad day and kinda bum around or if they go on vacation, etc. 

 

You have to get someone to figure out the root cause, make the coding changes, get it through QA and then most companies have a deployment date set and they do not break it unless it's an emergency. That's just policy. People are lucky if they see a fix within a week.

 

 

Hi Jennifer,

 

If a small fix takes at least a week, then by my estimation, it will take an awfully long time to fix all of the problems with the platform. That's not very encouraging. 

 

I am not familiar with the software development process, but surely many of these issues should have been identified before the platform was released?

 

 

I've never seen a company do updates at any time developers want and not have massive bugs. Maybe this is indeed what Upwork does? 😄  But, bugs are a part of any system. Even Google has bugs, and everyone thinks they are perfect.

 

It can take weeks just to get through QA. And you're thinking that each bug is fixed one at a time. Usually, there are several devs working on bug fixes. But, remember there is no incentive for them to get it done quickly. It's one of the advantages of cush corporate jobs.

 

Most companies with strict change control systems have fewer bugs, but the process means slower response times for bug fixes. Only time the deployment policy is broken is when there is a "revenue impacting bug that affects the business." But this only happens when someone lights a fire under someone else's butt. 


@Charlie E wrote:

 

If a small fix takes at least a week, then by my estimation, it will take an awfully long time to fix all of the problems with the platform. That's not very encouraging. 

 


Charlie,

 

You are not alone in your sentiment. 


 

I am not familiar with the software development process, but surely many of these issues should have been identified before the platform was released?

 


You are not alone in your opinion.

 

Best,

Michael
 


@Jennifer M wrote:

....Remember, they aren't freelancers.

 


About half the IT staff on Elance were freelancers, if memory serves. I would not be surprised at a similar or greater percentage on Upwork.


@Douglas Michael M wrote:

About half the IT staff on Elance were freelancers, if memory serves. I would not be surprised at a similar or greater percentage on Upwork.


 Right, but it's doubtful core functionality is handled by external people. They must be PCI compliant with their CC transactions, and you can't just go and give access to financial data to a random in India. I would say core functionality is handled by internal teams, and then non-critical stuff would be handled by others.

 

If they market that half their IT is freelancers, that's such a broad term. The level 1 help desk support guy could be considered IT. The guy sitting in the noc is IT. Server admins, security, network admins, email admins etc etc are IT. Software dev is usually separated from infrastructure.

 

It wouldn't be too weird for them to have external devs, but take that "half of our IT staff is freelancers" with a grain of salt. It's likely that non-critical components are handled by external people.


Jennifer M wrote:

....it's doubtful core functionality is handled by external people....I would say core functionality is handled by internal teams, and then non-critical stuff would be handled by others....

It wouldn't be too weird for them to have external devs, but take that "half of our IT staff is freelancers" with a grain of salt. It's likely that non-critical components are handled by external people.


The idea that Upwork knows core functionality from a hole in the ground non-critical stuff strikes me as quite droll.

YAAASSSSSSS! as the kids say.  I'm really afraid-if they close Elance prematurely while this is so kink ridden! 

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Charlie,

 

I am sorry about the inconvenience this has caused you. Could you please reset your language proficiency by hovering your mouse over the language section of your profile and clicking on the pen icon that appears? Then click "Save." If the issue still persists, please let us know.

 

Thank you for your patience.

~ Valeria
Upwork

Hi Valeria,

 

Thanks for your response. 

 

I did as you suggested, yet I am still getting the warning that I am not fluent in English 😞

 

As I mentioned before, this is definitely a design flaw/bug in the platform. 

 

Are you able to tell us whether this bug fix is on the agenda?

 

Thanks. 

jmeyn
Member


@Charlie E wrote:

Migrated my account over from Elance some days ago, and decided to apply for a job just to get the feel of the process. 

 

When submitting the proposal, I received a warning sign stating something along the lines of "You are not fluent in English. The client will be notified of this"....

 

I was born and raised in New York City, so why am I receiving this silly message, and why is the client being told that I do not speak fluent English????

  


 You just answered your question, born and raised in New York City... That's not native English, it ought to be Queen's English 🙂

 

Okay, just kidding but I couldn't resist 🙂

re: "Are you able to tell us whether this bug fix is on the agenda?"

 

LOL.

 

Nobody is going to tell you that fixing a problem clearly identifiable as a bug (and not a designed aspect of their system) is NOT on the agenda. The alternative would be to say that fixing the bug is NOT on the agenda because they just prefer to leave the bug in place permanently.

 

(But I understand your intent in asking the question. It is a polite way to tell Upwork to get this silly problem fixed.)

jedwardmills
Member

I am English. I reside in Canada.

 

In my profile it says FLUENT ENGLISH

 

Yet when i applied for a project it said

 

"You do not meet all the client's preferred qualifications
You may still submit a proposal, but the client will see that the proposal does not meet the following criteria:

    English: Fluent'"

 

So I tried again. Same thing, your system is not recognizing what is in my profile. MY profile MEETS this standard.

 

I then changed it to NATIVE ( as im from the UK and live in Canada ) I am british. You don't get more english than that!

 

This is a BUG and MUST BE FIXED ASAP!!!!

 

 

I think that native is a new option.  Mine still says fluent and I'm pretty sure that I would have selected native if it was an option.

 

fluent.png

Daniel, mine was on FLUENT when i tried to bid

 

And the system said it wasn't set to FLUENT

 

So i went to check, sure enough it was on FLUENT ( So the system is not even RECOGNIZING that my profile says ia am fluent )

 

Only then did i change it to NATIVE and even then it still says i am not fluent.

 

Jon,

 

I got that from your OP. 

Hi,

 

I'm a brand new person here, this being my second full day, and I found myself wondering how I was to describe myself when it came to English.  so I perfectly understand your ire.  I am Jamaican, living in the USA, and English is my native language  -- the Queen's English, no less!  I am also a recently retired teacher of Englsh (34 years worth of English teaching), and it seems to me that "fluent" and "native" should be the same, yet they aren't here.  I chose "fluent" because it seemed to describe my abilities best, but I am also "native".   

 

I'll be very interested to see how your concern is answered.

 

Karen

Also, what exactly does one's ACCENT have to do with one's abilities as a native speaker of a language?  TAnd how does it come into play in WRITING that language?  That stymied me, especially given the fact that EVERY/ne has an accent, whether native or not!

 

Karen

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi All,

 

This issue has been brought to attention of our engineers and they are currently working to fix it. In the meantime, please rest assured that when you apply to jobs with that requirement, the clients will still be able to see your proposal and the actual language proficiency level you set on your profile.

 

Thank you for your patience.

~ Valeria
Upwork

It has been a month and still no resolution??

I keep replying to proposals and Upwork notes that I don't meet the native English status.  I was born, raised, and have always lived in the US.  I am a native English speaker (with a southern accent).

 

How do I fix this?  It's just recently come up, although I've been on Upwork/Odesk for four years.  I know there was a long discussion about this but of course, I can't find it.

 

Can somebody please help, freelancer or moderator?  I'm getting frustrated.

And..... it just happened again.

If you are applying for a job that is asking for a Native English speaker and your language proficiency is set to Fluent you will not meet the client's language requirements, and will receive that message. If you are a Native English speak then change your language setting from Fluent to Native. 2015-09-14_1216.png

Untitled

OK, so what does this mean?

"You may still submit a proposal, but the client will see that the proposal does not meet the following criteria English: 4"

 

I know that English 1 is street jive, English 2 is talking head, and English 3 is academic; but what is English 4? Is it Esperanto?

 

If it helps, my profile is set to Native Speaker.

 

Edited to add: Apparently, it references your score on the Basic English test. I took the test and now I'm good.

kmaccart
Member

For what it's worth, I have worked on oDesk for years and I have just started getting this warning. I am also a native English speaker. I haven't had trouble getting clients, but it still bothers me. I have a master's degree for crying out loud.

re: "For what it's worth, I have worked on oDesk for years and I have just started getting this warning"

 

 

Did you recently develop a discernible accent?

That's probably what triggered the warning.

 

(jk)

Thanks for the laughSmiley Happy

It's been said so many times before, but the grading is just wrong, and fits in with Upwork's desire to squeeze everything into small boxes.

 

FLUENT: Complete command of the language with perfect grammar

 

NATIVE: Complete command of the language with no discernible accent

 

So, how many non-natives of a language have perfect grammar??

 

How many natives of a language have no discernible accent??

 

In my particular circumstance as a proofeader and editor, clients are looking for a native speaker with complete command of the language and perfect grammar.

 

There are very few cases where these two coincide.

 

 

Consider now:

 

(a) A native speaker will write and sound like a native.

 

(b) Someone who is an excellent linguist/grammarian will have perfect grammar.

 

Regarding (a), just look at the Jeremy Kyle Show (US or UK) to see what native speaking is.

 

Regarding (b) , there are excellent liguists and grammarians who I hold in the highest esteem who are non-native but to me have near-perfect English (including two or three regulars on this forum); but they occasionally stumble and make small mistakes that only a true native speaker would notice.

 

Quite a few of my clients are Europeans with amazingly good English who use me as the last polish to turn their already really good English into excellent (native) English.

 

So do I call myself native, or fluent (perfect grammar)? Imagine a website called carrots R us, where people go looking for the very best carrots; but the only search options are a) orange-coloured fruit, or b) long green vegetables.

 

It's wrong because it's wrong; and until someone changes the parameters, it wiill always be a mess.

 

The main reason I choose native over fluent is because Upwork may take away my credentials, but it isn't going to take away my identity.

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Kelly

 

You may want to go to your profile and set your English level to native instead of just fluent.

 

There was a bug that was flagging native English speakers as not meeting clients requirements for any level of English but that was fixed about 2 weeks ago.

Thank you. I just did. I have no idea how to tell whether or not that helped anything. Is there somewhere that I can go to see my English number?

Hi Kelly,

 

Your English level is currently set as Native. You shouldn't receive the notification when applying for jobs with the requirement of Native level of English, but please let us know if you do.

 

Screenshot_1.png

~ Valeria
Upwork

Hi Valeria, I don't have the option to select "Native" on my profile.

 

I only see Basic, Conversational, Fluent and Masterful.

 

Was Native removed?

 

dj

According to the gospel of Upwork, native = masterful.

 

There are some heated posts on this. I will try and find them for you. But in spite of the objections, nothing has been done. I can't imagine what potential clients must think when they ask for native English speakers and then have to trawl through the proposals from dozens of "masterful" speakers. (Upwork still hasn't seen that this is a first-class example of word misuse) . . .

 

 

The fun thing is that I've changed my setting to "Masterful", and I'm still getting the "English 4" error message.

 

Wheeeeee!!!

 

Consider the fact that I'm a writer. A writer who's worked as a professional for 20 years. If anyone has a "Masterful" knowledge of English out there, I'm that guy.

 

But I'm bidding for jobs as a writer and my bid is being submitted with a message that essentially says, "This freelancer might not speak English very well."

 

 

* Facepalm *

Hi David,

 

Yes, the level "Native" has been replaced with "Masterful" last week. However, we are preparing updates based on the Community's feedback that we will communicate next week.

 

Please, see Garnor's post on this thread.

~ Valeria
Upwork
teyhah_ecah
Member

Actually.. when you want to speak fluently in English.. you don't have too remind for the grammar.. because English is the most important one as it was a national language..