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Sep 02, 2016
Overcoming language barriers

Freelancers and clients will often tell us one of the things they love about Upwork is the ability to work with people all over the world.

Through Upwork, you can communicate with clients/freelancers as though they are in the building next door. Your talents and hard work extend across the world.


However, there is a challenge many of us must overcome, (myself included) so that we can maximize the opportunities available to us on Upwork: How do you ensure you will communicate effectively enough to a) establish rapport/confidence with a client and b) understand and anticipate important spoken/written communications.


Some jobs require complex instructions and constant communication with the client, freelancer, or within a team, in a language that is not native for all the parties involved. This challenge doesn’t seem to stop successful freelancers and clients who are motivated to improve their language and communication skills and work together across borders. We’re hoping to learn from some of you here in this discussion.


If you ever found that important instructions or information were lost in translation, how would you approach and address the misunderstanding?

To avoid such situations, do you find yourself seeking out freelancers or clients who speak your native language?

What advice do you have for freelancers who are starting out and may not be as confident in their language proficiency?