What is Community Interpreting?

What is Community Interpeting

Community interpreting is a type of Interpreting used in community-based settings and situations. In communities with greater numbers of LEP speakers, community interpreting brings language access to populations experiencing language barriers with public services.

Many clients in need of community interpreting services are immigrants, refugees, and families and their children.   It is not uncommon for these individuals to live in an area where the community shares the same language and they do not speak English. The need for public services, such as social security, family services and health care make community Interpreting a vital resource for LEP communities.

According to research by Migration Policy Institute, in 2013, approximately 61.6 million individuals, foreign and U.S. born, spoke a language other than English at home and about 41 percent (25.1 million) were considered Limited English Proficient (LEP).


Common Settings for Community Interpreting?

Community interpreters are commonly used in settings such as:

benefits of community interpreting

  • Medical
  • Education
  • Public health and safety
  • Police
  • Housing
  • Social security
  • Legal areas

The most common language for community Interpreting is Spanish in the United States.

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.


Benefits of Community Interpreters

Foreign Language Usage U.S.Community interpreters have a very special job because, in addition to fluency in the target language, community interpreters must also understand the public services being used, as well as extensive cultural knowledge and cultural sensitivity.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports over 300 languages spoken in U.S. homes – public and social services and communities require the widest range of languages needed.

Community Interpreting is particularly valuable where clients may be afraid, under very stressful conditions, may be illiterate or non-English speaking.

A trusted name in language services, Telelanguage has been offering interpretation and translation services for over 26 years nationwide. With over 300 languages and a network of 4,000+ trained, qualified and certified interpreters, Telelanguage helps public services provide the best language access in LEP communities.cover2


Learn how language interpretation works with leading-edge technology in our Free Industry White Paper!
Connecting Humanity through Technology: The Importance of Offering Language Services as an Organization.



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.


4,000+ interpreters ready to speak in over 300 languages!

Call Telelanguage today at 1-888-983-5352

Certified interpreters available telephonically, face-to-face, or via video remote!