The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a major crisis in the U.S. healthcare system: a lack of language support for limited English proficiency (LEP) speakers. Yet the success of the vaccine depends on reaching millions of residents—including those with limited English skills. That means healthcare providers must ramp up their efforts to hire medical interpreters who can bridge the language gap. While the demand for Spanish interpreters is a given, let’s look at the seven fastest growing languages that your patients may speak.
Telugu – Up 86%
Telugu is a Dravidian language spoken by the Telugu people in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It’s also a scheduled language of India.
Around 415,400 Telugu speakers live in the U.S. The majority reside in NYC, Long Island, Central New Jersey, Northern Virginia, and Central and Southern California.
Arabic – Up 42%
The official language of 23 countries throughout the Middle East and Africa, Arabic is spoken by 580 million people around the world.
Roughly 1.1 million Arabic speakers live in the United States. States with the largest Arabic speaking populations include: California, Michigan, New York, Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, Virginia, Florida, and Ohio.
& 4. Hindi – Up 32%; Urdu – Up 30%
Registers of the Hindustani language, Hindi and Urdu belong to the Indo-Aryan language family. Both are official languages of India.
Hindi is the largest spoken Indian language in the U.S, with 863,077 speakers, while Urdu is spoken by 507,329 speakers. The majority live in California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and Texas.
Chinese – Up 23%
The most widely spoken language in the world, Chinese is an official language of Mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan, Myanmar, Hong Kong, and Macau.
It’s also the third most widely spoken language in the U.S., with roughly 3.5 million speakers.
The metropolitan areas of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Baltimore-Washington, Seattle, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Delaware Valley all have large Chinese-speaking communities.
Gujarati – Up 22%
Gujarati is a Western Indo-Aryan language spoken primarily in the Indian state of Gujarat. It’s also an official language of India.
Roughly 434,264 speakers live in the U.S. Most live in New Jersey and the metropolitan areas of New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, Dallas, and Philadelphia.
Haitian Creole – Up 19%
A French-based creole, Haitian Creole is the official language of Haiti and is recognized as a minority language in the Bahamas, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic.
In the U.S., approximately 856,000 people speak the language, most of whom live in
Florida, New York, Delaware, Illinois, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Language Support and Boostlingo
Finding an interpreter can be a difficult task, especially for a less common language. Fortunately, the BoostCare Telehealth platform makes it easy to connect with one remotely, either over-the-phone (OPI) or via video remote (VRI). All you need is an internet connection, computer or mobile device, and a webcam for video calls. Plus, our Boostlingo Professional Interpreters Network (BPIN) gives you access to interpreters who speak over 200 languages.
Want to learn more? Contact us today to start your free trial!