At Boostlingo, we felt how COVID changed the way healthcare addresses language access. Shifts to telehealth, the need for social distancing, and a general shortage of medical support staff lead to systems adapting virtual interpretation in droves. The number of medical providers signing up for virtual interpretation services like ours increased exponentially.
As we can see from the numbers below, the changes in pandemic circumstances weren’t the only drivers of new healthcare technology. The languages that need medical interpretation support are changing rapidly. Onsite interpretation is adapting to the changes while virtual interpretation services rely increasingly on growing global networks to the fill the need. Check out the top growing languages below:
1. Telugu – Up 150%
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.
2. Arabic – Up 62%
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.
3 & 4. Hindi – Up 61%; Urdu – Up 45%
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.
5. Chinese – Up 35%
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.
6. Gujarati – Up 31%
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.
7. 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, BoostOnDemand 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 13,000+ interpreters who speak over 300 languages.
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