The need for high-quality foreign language interpretation in the United States is growing rapidly. The U.S. Census Bureau reports over 300 languages spoken in U.S. homes, and a record 64.7 million (1 in 5) United States residents over the age of 5 speak a foreign language at home. Language diversity in the United States has never been greater, and qualified interpreters make it possible for industries from business to healthcare and hospitality to emergency services to communicate effectively with the populations they serve via language interpretation services.
Just what foreign language interpretation needs do we have in the United States? We wrote Top 10 Foreign Languages Spoken in the United States which identified 10 languages with the largest number of speakers in the U.S., most with over 1 million speakers!
A 2013 American Community Survey showed that states with the largest share of foreign-language speakers include: California, 45%; New Mexico, 36%; Texas, 35%; and New Jersey, Nevada, and New York with 30%. Learn more about U.S. locations with language access needs here.
The 2011 American Community Survey identified the following languages spoken in U.S. homes with over 100,000 speakers:
English language: 230 million
Spanish language: 37.58 million
Chinese language and dialects: 2.88 million (such as Cantonese and Taishanese, Standard Mandarin Chinese, Hokkien, Hakka)
French language: 1.30 million + 750,000 French Creole
Tagalog language: 1.59 million
Vietnamese language: 1.41 million
Korean language: 1.14 million
German language: 1.08 million (High/Standard German; may include German dialects)
Arabic language: 951,700
Russian language: 905,800
Other Indic languages: 815,345 (Includes Punjabi, Marathi)
Bengali language: 800,000
Italian language: 723,600
Portuguese language: 673,500
Hindi language: 648,900
Polish language: 607,500
Japanese language: 436,100
Persian language: 407,600
Urdu language: 373,800
Gujarati language: 358,400
Greek language: 304,900
Serbo-Croatian language: 269,600
Telugu language: 247,760
Armenian language: 246,900
Hebrew language: 216,300
Khmer language: 212,500
Hmong language: 211,200
Tamil language: 190,000
Nepali language: 185,145
Navajo language: 169,300
Thai language: 163,200
Yiddish language: 160,900
Laotian language: 140,900
Cherokee language: 100,000
American Sign Language: ~100,000
The following infographic is a snapshot of foreign language diversity in the United States today.
Foreign Language Diversity in U.S. Homes (Infographic)
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At Telelanguage, we know the value of language interpretation. Foreign language diversity and cultural diversity don’t need to become a roadblock to effective communication. As a trusted language service provider to over 1,400 organizations nationwide, it has been our mission for 26 years to provide the best quality interpretation services with a commitment to excellence in customer service, and innovation in interpretation technology. Telelanguage is a leader in over-the-phone interpreter services, with a minimum of 2 million calls handled in the past two years.
If your organization is in need of a more reliable language service provider, Telelanguage can help! Get the fastest connection to U.S.-based certified interpreters. Contact us for a free demo.today.
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