To no surprise, English is the most commonly spoken language across the US, while Spanish is the second most common in 46 states and the District of Columbia, with 40.5 million speakers as of 2016. So what about the other wide variety of languages? Not everyone in the United States speaks only English and Spanish, right? 

While many people who speak a foreign language also speak English very well, 8% of the United States population (25.1 million) is considered limited-English proficient. What this means is that they speak English less than “very well” and will most likely require some sort of interpretation services when needing to communicate important information. Fortunately, for this population, and the organizations and businesses that serve them, there are language interpretation services that make communication available within seconds. 

US languages

Every year, the US Census Bureau conducts their American Community Survey where they ask more than 1 million Americans questions about their lives, families, and backgrounds. One question in particular: “What language do you speak in your home?” Below are the languages spoken in homes (in no order) in the US besides English and Spanish including an estimated number of speakers: 

 

  • Aleut-Eskimo languages are spoken in 1 state (Alaska), 23,665 speakers. 
  • Somali is spoken in 1 state (Minnesota) ,160,940 speakers. 
  • Dakota, Lakota, Nakota, Sioux languages are spoken in 1 state (South Dakota), 17,023 speakers.
  • Gujarati is spoken in 1 state (New Jersey), 419,964 speakers
  • Ilocano is spoken in 1 state (Hawaii), 92,955 speakers
  • Hmong is spoken in 1 state (Wisconsin), 232,161 speakers
  • Nepali is spoken in 1 state (Nebraska), 202,218 speakers
  • Pennsylvania Dutch is spoken in 1 state (Pennsylvania), 179,336 speakers
  • Polish is spoken in 1 state (Illinois), 512,332 speakers
  • Tagalog is spoken in 2 states (California and Nevada),  1,753,712 speakers
  • French or Haitian Creole is spoken in 2 states (Florida & Delaware), 900,596 speakers
  • Navajo is spoken in 2 states (New Mexico & Arizona), 166,856 speakers
  • Arabic is spoken in 3 states (West Virginia, Tennessee, Michigan), 1,229,949 speakers
  • Korean is spoken in 3 states (Virginia, Alabama, Georgia), 1,104,145 speakers
  • Portuguese is spoken in 3 states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island), 763,340 speakers
  • Chinese is spoken in 5 states (New York, Washington, Arkansas, Missouri, Utah), 2,155,939 speakers
  • Vietnamese is spoken in 6 states (Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon, Kansas, Iowa, Mississippi), 1,527,371 speakers
  • French is spoken in 6 states (Louisiana, North Carolina, Maryland, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire), 1,184,736 speakers
  • German is spoken in 9 states (Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina), 905,326 speakers

It’s interesting, right? It’s not so often you would have someone walk into your hospital speaking Aleut languages, but believe it or not, it DOES happen. So what do you do in a situation like this? You result to interpreting. Thanks to Boostlingo, we offer video interpretation services that enable communication within minutes.

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