Census Bureau Reports at Least 350 Languages Spoken in U.S. Homes

postsU.S. Census Bureau released a set of new tables today detailing hundreds of languages that U.S. residents speak at home. American Community Survey data on languages spoken at home were previously available for only 39 languages. These tables, based on American Community Survey data collected from 2009 to 2013, expand the languages and language groups tabulated to 350.

These tables are among the most comprehensive data ever released from the Census Bureau on languages spoken less widely in the United States, such as Pennsylvania Dutch, Ukrainian, Turkish, Romanian, Amharic and many others. Also included are 150 different Native North American languages, collectively spoken by more than 350,000 people, including Yupik, Dakota, Apache, Keres and Cherokee.

“While most of the U.S. population speaks only English at home or a handful of other languages like Spanish or Vietnamese, the American Community Survey reveals the wide-ranging language diversity of the United States,” said Erik Vickstrom, a Census Bureau statistician. “For example, in the New York metro area alone, more than a third of the population speaks a language other than English at home, and close to 200 different languages are spoken. Knowing the number of languages and how many speak these languages in a particular area provides valuable information to policymakers, planners and researchers.”

The tables provide information on languages and language groups for counties and core-based statistical areas (metropolitan and micropolitan areas) with populations of 100,000 or more and 25,000 or more speakers of languages other than Spanish, as well as for the nation, states and Puerto Rico regardless of population size. These data show the number of speakers of each language and the number who speak English less than “very well” — a common measure of English proficiency.

In addition to making the tables available for download as a spreadsheet, the Census Bureau will release the data as part of its application programming interface, or API.languages

Highlights for the 15 largest metro areas:

New York metro area
At least 192 languages are spoken at home. 38 percent of the metro area population age 5 and over speak a language other than English at home. One of the smaller language groups found there is Bengali, with 105,765 speakers.

Los Angeles metro area
At least 185 languages are spoken at home. 54 percent of the metro area population age 5 and over speak a language other than English at home. One of the smaller language groups found there is Indonesian, with 12,750 speakers.

Chicago metro area
At least 153 languages are spoken at home. 29 percent of the metro area population age 5 and over speak a language other than English at home. One of the smaller language groups found there is Serbian, with 17,490 speakers.

Dallas metro area
At least 156 languages are spoken at home. 30 percent of the metro area population age 5 and over speak a language other than English at home. One of the smaller language groups found there is Telugu, with 12,630 speakers.

Philadelphia metro area
At least 146 languages are spoken at home. 15 percent of the metro area population age 5 and over speak a language other than English at home. One of the smaller language groups found there is Malayalam, with 10,370 speakers.

Houston metro area
At least 145 languages are spoken at home. 37 percent of the metro area population age 5 and over speak a language other than English at home. One of the smaller language groups found there is Tamil, with 4,690 speakers.

Washington metro area
At least 168 languages are spoken at home. 26 percent of the metro area population age 5 and over speak a language other than English at home. One of the smaller language groups found there is Amharic, with 43,125 speakers.

Miami metro area
At least 128 languages are spoken at home. 51 percent of the metro area population age 5 and over speak a language other than English at home. One of the smaller language groups found there is Romanian, with 5,295 speakers.

Atlanta metro area
At least 146 languages are spoken at home. 17 percent of the metro area population age 5 and over speak a language other than English at home. One of the smaller language groups found there is Swahili, with 4,195 speakers.

Boston metro area
At least 138 languages are spoken at home. 23 percent of the metro area population age 5 and over speak a language other than English at home. One of the smaller language groups found there is Albanian, with 6,800 speakers.

San Francisco metro area
At least 163 languages are spoken at home. 40 percent of the metro area population age 5 and over speak a language other than English at home. One of the smaller language groups found there is Panjabi, with 19,985 speakers.

Detroit metro area
At least 126 languages are spoken at home. 12 percent of the metro area population age 5 and over speak a language other than English at home. One of the smaller language groups found there is Syriac, with 23,175 speakers.

Riverside, Calif., metro area
At least 145 languages are spoken at home. 40 percent of the metro area population age 5 and over speak a language other than English at home. One of the smaller language groups found there is Dutch, with 2,425 speakers.

Phoenix metro area
At least 163 languages are spoken at home. 26 percent of the metro area population age 5 and over speak a language other than English at home. One of the smaller language groups found there is Pima, with 3,050 speakers.

Seattle metro area
At least 166 languages are spoken at home. 22 percent of the metro area population age 5 and over speak a language other than English at home. One of the smaller language groups found there is Ukrainian, with 15,850 speakers.

About the American Community Survey
The American Community Survey is the only source of small area estimates for social and demographic characteristics of the U.S. population. It gives communities the current information they need to plan investments and services. Retailers, homebuilders, police departments, and town and city planners are among the many private- and public-sector decision makers who count on these annual results. Visit the ACS helps communities page to see some examples.
These statistics would not be possible without the participation of the randomly selected households in the survey.

Candidate Statements

New York Circle of Translators 2015 Election

Candidate Statements

Miosotis Vargas (Candidate for Program Director)

The very first time I walked into a New York Circle of Translators meeting, I had no idea that it was going to change my professional life forever. I met so many wonderful high caliber people that day, including the then president Leonard Morin who so graciously welcomed me and put me in contact with people who have helped to advance my career as an interpreter.

Since that fateful day, becoming a member of the Circle has continued to exceed my expectations, and today I am running for the privilege to serve as your Program Director.

In my two enriching years at the New York Circle of Translators, I have worked with other dedicated members on an outreach initiative to bring together like-minded individuals in a symposium to advance the professionalization of public service and commercial language assistance in the New York City area.

By working on this project, I have acquired the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively serve as the new Program Director. I also have extensive experience in project management, having worked in several community-based organizations where I have lead successful campaigns and programs.

After Kate Deimling I will have big shoes to fill, but I am determined to continue serving the New York Circle of Translators by bringing the kind of quality programs that have characterized our organization for the last several years.

I love the Circle, and I am fully committed to our community and the future of the translation and interpretation industry. I am looking forward to bringing my passion and dedication to service to its members.


Ana Salotti (Candidate for Program Director)

My name is Ana Salotti. I’m an English-Spanish freelance translator, and a translation instructor at Hunter College. I have had the opportunity to study translation and interpreting in two very different parts of the world: my native Argentina, where I undertook a BA in Spanish Translation back in 2005, and Australia, where I earned an MA in Interpreting and Translation Studies in 2012. I have been working as a professional translator since 2005, and as an interpreter since early 2015. I am an active member of the NYCT, and I am now honored to have been asked to run for the position of Program Director.

Coming from two diverse training settings, having worked in this field for almost ten years, and now teaching two Translation courses at Hunter College, I can see the great strengths, weaknesses and exciting opportunities lying ahead in our market. I firmly believe that the NYCT is breaking new ground with the monthly programs they have been putting together. I also believe that there is still more to do, to keep building our membership, provide ongoing learning opportunities, and educate clients and the general public on the importance of professionalization in our industry.

If elected, I will be looking forward to the opportunity of organizing relevant training workshops, talks and events with these goals in mind. I think training is the key to raising the bar of our profession. As a Program Director, I am ready to embrace that mission. I am committed to do as I as much as I can to make the NYCT the leading non-profit organization that every translator and interpreter in the city goes to for membership, training courses, interesting talks, and the latest trends in the market. I would also like to help build a higher profile for the Circle in the public eye. I promise to work with passion, and to engage in a meaningful dialogue with our members and stakeholders.


Lisa M. Rodriguez (Candidate for Secretary)

The New York Circle of Translators is gaining steam, seeking ways to support current members and to encourage other professionals to join us. The current Board has provided useful and interesting opportunities for members to learn about different aspects of translation and interpreting. Their efforts have inspired me to join in, and I would like to contribute to our organization’s efforts as Secretary for the 2016 term.

To help you make your decision about the position of Secretary, I would like to offer a summary of my professional background. I have been a professional translator since 2011. I am ATA Certified in Spanish to English Translation, and I hold the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies Certificate in French to English Translation.

I was raised in Union County, New Jersey. After completing my B.A. at Lynchburg College in Virginia, I lived in Spain for sixteen years. There, I worked as an English teacher, and I obtained a Licenciatura from the University of Seville. Upon returning to the U.S., I worked in the financial services sector for eleven years. For two of those years I was a secretary, after which I worked in positions which involved trade support, operational and record keeping functions for my department. In 2011, my job in financial services moved to the West coast.

At that time, I decided to seek a profession in which I could combine my experience with languages with my experience in business. Friends and acquaintances working in translation generously offered information and training. The conferences, training and support I experienced helped me conclude that freelance translation was the right choice for me.

It was one of the best decisions of my life. Courses and information offered through the ATA and its members allowed me a relatively smooth transition, and I currently work from a home office as Constantia Language Services LLC. The word Constantia is Latin for perseverance. As all translators and interpreters know, perseverance is key to developing the complex language and business skills necessary for success in our field.

As Secretary, I would not bring decades of experience as a translator or interpreter to the table. However, I have a broad-based and multi-cultural work background, and I have the writing skills, discipline and availability necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of the position.

Most important, I am eager for an opportunity to work with the current board members to support the growth and modernization of our organization. It would be an honor to serve the NYCT as Secretary. Thank you for reading my statement and considering my candidacy.


Andre Kononenko (Candidate for Treasurer)

I am excited to accept the nomination to run for Treasurer of the NYCT. I have been a member of NYCT for 3 years now and have been impressed with the latest improvements and accomplishments that current leadership is actively pursuing. I am particularly motivated to work on supporting efforts for continued improvements and increasing overall member satisfaction with benefits that an NYCT membership offers.

I believe I have a number of valuable qualities I would bring to the position of Treasurer. First, I have 15+ years of practical experience as a business analyst in a large financial organization, which should allow me to accurately record, keep and maintain accounting information as well as prepare financial reports and balance sheets. I am confident that my MBA degree will complement my experience in all matters related to keeping books and records at the highest level of proficiency and to the highest standard of integrity.

Secondly, my experience and relationships with NYCT members and the Circle’s leadership would allow me to step into the role quickly.

Finally, I have energy and passion to serve the NYCT and consider it a great privilege to be of service to an organization that I fully support and endorse. As a translator, I know firsthand how important and valuable peer support and encouragement are to any translator or interpreter, to one who is just starting or to one with many years of experience. I can’t think of a better way to integrate my passion for supporting a professional group and my dedication to service than through this organization. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments about my candidacy for this position, by phone (203) 273-5691 or via email: akonon@aol.com.

Sincerely yours,
Andre Kononenko

The French-American Foundation, with the long-standing support of the Florence Gould Foundation, is currently accepting submissions for the 29th Annual Translation Prize

The Foundations will present a $10,000 award for the best English translation of French in both fiction and nonfiction. Translations for consideration must have been published for the first time in the United States between January 1 and December 31, 2015.Effiel

To apply, or for more information, please visit: frenchamerican.org/tp-submissions.

Since 1986, the Translation Prize has established itself as a valuable element of the intellectual and cultural exchange between France and the United States. The Translation Prize promotes French literature in the United States and provides translators and their craft with greater visibility among publishers and readers. The prize also seeks to increase the visibility of the publishers who bring these important French works of literature to the American market in translations of exceptional quality.
The French-American Foundation looks forward to receiving your submissions by January 15, 2016.
Best of luck!
Ilana Adleson
Program Officer

Member News:

In November, Kate Deimling’s translation of Vino Business: The Cloudy World of French Wine, an exposé of the French wine industry by journalist Isabelle Saporta, was published by Grove Atlantic. In its review, Publishers Weekly says “Saporta’s precision in identifying her targets and laying out supporting evidence adds drama to an already-melodramatic saga, and teetotalers and oenophiles alike will find it hard to resist.”

This past August Taschen published Circle VP Alta Price’s English translation of The Book Cover in the Weimar Republic, a landmark, bilingual tome on book cover design in Weimar Germany, which was recently selected as a “best book of November” by Perlentaucher. Her latest book translation, The Dynamic Library, was released by Soberscove Press this week. She spent mid-October in residency at Übersetzerhaus Looren in Switzerland, and at the end of the month co-moderated a panel on women in translation at the 38th annual American Literary Translators Association conference in Tucson. Next on her plate: catching up with many of you at the NYCT Holiday gathering!

NYCT member and Portuguese > English translator Olinda Azevedo Perez is the new Program Administrator at NYU’s School of Professional Studies, Center for Applied Liberal Arts. CALA offers programming in foreign languages, translation, and interpreting.

Open Call – Interpreters Language Study

At the age of ten my school removed me from French class. “He shows problems at school, has challenges with modern languages and should be held back a year,” wrote my teacher.

My French language block changed to a tutor. They gave me supplementary classes – math and language arts. As a stranger, the French teacher would only allow me back to observe the class – not to be graded, marked or taken earnestly. Students surrounded me months ahead of my level. To pop up amongst the lessons on the past tense of être was a struggle.

Fast-forward 15 years. Currently my “languages learned” count stands at 9 – my top three languages are Deutsch, Español and 中文. Turns out there wasn’t much of a challenge but rather a hunger for languages. You can call me Andrew Carson – a language nerd, MBA degree holder, marketer and entrepreneur.

Today my tongues constantly demonstrate to me the power and relevance of other languages. As translators you have front row seats to the spectacle. Through your careers you have worked between languages. You have seen the underbelly of the beast and understand the role they play to uphold progress. Whether your work revolves around conferences or two-person exchanges, there are always thoughts to shuttle across the gap.

Now here’s where you can help me out.

Currently my energy has been focused on a set of language projects around NYC. One project looks at oral translators – at the moment they change between source and target languages. The study seeks to understand how languages are absorbed at that second and how they are processed. The project hopes to uncover common themes among translators and across careers.

So far the project has collected the anecdotes of 15 translators through casual tête-à-têtes at cafes around NYC. Many oral translators have offered remarkable accounts of how they process language already and hopefully you can too.

Do you have a few seconds to chat about your career?

Now, you’re busy and don’t have much space on your schedule to relax at a café and chat – understood. However the above paragraphs were just as hard for me to compose and work out as your schedule. The above text was constructed as a “Lipogram of I”. No letter “I” was ever used here. For the record, “is,” “interview” and “interpreter” were pretty hard to evade. For more “information,” or to “join” the study please feel free to “email” me – Andrew.p.carson@me.com

Regionalisms: Pitfalls for Court Interpreters in Varieties of Spanish

The different varieties of the Spanish language pose a major challenge to interpreters. Each Spanish-speaking country has its own accent, and accents may vary again within a given Spanish-speaking country. In addition, lexical differences add another level of complication: some specific words may vary in meaning from one country to another, while different countries may use different words altogether to refer to the same thing.

In this workshop, Anthony Rivas will review these varieties of Spanish, with special attention on how interpreters can best prepare to handle them in a legal setting.

Date: Saturday, December 5, 2015
Time: 10 a.m. — 1 p.m. PST (1 — 4 p.m. EST)
Cost: $100 Register by November 14 for a 10% discount!


Instructor: Anthony T. Rivas, FCCI
CEUs available:
ATA 3 points; NAJIT 3 credits; California 3 CIMCE hours L 3504; Florida 3.8 CIE credits, 15-0094; Tennessee 3 FL; Texas and Washington state CEUs pending!

NCI webinars use Adobe Connect. You don’t need to download any software ahead of time to join the webinar. Watch a short video about Adobe Connect and its features here.

NCI alums: Don’t forget to use your code for an extra 10% off!
Questions? 520-621-3615 or ncitrp@email.arizona.edu.


Following are the newest members of the New York Circle. Please become familiar with the names. Hopefully one or more of them will be at future meetings.

Alisha Bryan, Alexandra Coman Zotic, Paula DeFilippo, Lisa DePaula, Margaret Finnel, Ayako Kigoshi, Myung-Hee Kim, John Labati, Tarig Mahgoub, Danielle Martineau, Kiku Matsuo, Karen Mikala, Izabela Milanov, Christina Mitrakos, Janet Morales, Laura Prisakar, Gregary Racz, Birgit Richter, Federico Saavedra, Ana Lis Salotti, Rafael Sedra, Judith Taddeo, Anna Zeygerman

The Circle’s New Look Online

By Gigi Branch

We should be ready to launch the new website (www.nyctranslators.org) by the end of the month. As you can see, the online issue of the Gotham Translator (www.gothamtranslator.org) is now live. After more than a year of planning and developing these two sites, we extend our sincere thanks to all members for their patience throughout this lengthy process. The current Circle site, which is based on older technology, has been in desperate need of an upgrade, and for that reason, our primary goal with this undertaking was to resolve the existing technical issues that have plagued our members as well as the site’s administrators. We took the opportunity during this process to update the site in other ways.

Our New Websites
We sought to create a stronger visual brand to market our growing profession and our members’ language services and experience. Our intention with the new design of the two sites, our email template and social outlets is to present a more positive and professional image of the Circle and our members. Moreover, the fact that the responsive design can be accessed via desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone devices makes it more serviceable to both members and language service buyers. We encourage you to frequent both sites, but we first would like to give you a quick preview of each one.

The new Circle site is designed for three different types of users: potential members, buyers of language services and most importantly, our members. As was the case with the old site, all visitors have access to general information about the Circle, the events calendar, direct access to The Gotham Translator, resources for language professionals, an online directory of our members and their language services and easy contact to the Board of Directors and the Circle Administrator. Additionally, the new site, which can be easily updated, will offer comprehensive and dynamic information for all users, especially on events within the Circle community and the language service community at large. We have added more advanced searching capabilities in our member directory for those language service buyers seeking more specific language skills and services.

We are most excited about our member section. With the new member login, active members can access their accounts, set up and update the new, extensive profile format, register directly for meetings and special events, follow our community online, visit our photo gallery, download the Circle logo for personal use and eventually access audio files of our monthly meetings. All in all, we hope our new site will stimulate and strengthen communication within our Circle community.

Member Login
For the initial login, both active and inactive members should login with the e-mail address that is associated with the old site. When we are ready to launch, we will be sending out an e-mail with detailed instructions to guide members through the login process. We suggest that all members create a new username and password for the new site. After logging in, active members should be taken to their account page. We encourage you to spend time updating your profile page. Your profile information from the old site should have transferred to the new one. However, as you will see, we have added many more service and experience categories along with social media information so that you can complete your profile to your liking. Inactive members will be prompted to renew their membership for member access to the site. As I said, we will be contacting you with more specifics on the login process. If you have any questions or experience issues logging in, please contact us through the website.

The New Gotham
We are very pleased to introduce you to our first issue of the new online Gotham Translator. We will be e-mailing our members a link to each new online publication but we encourage you to visit the site as much as you like. Each issue will include articles, news and events pertinent to our industry, involving both the Circle and beyond. You will have the opportunity to comment on articles, which we hope will enrich the professional dialogue between our members. And we invite all members to consider contributing to the newsletter. Contact our Editor, Margarite, about ideas or suggestions for articles. Or share language-related news and events with the Circle community. You will find details about submissions at Publish in the Gotham.

Please be aware that a few details concerning the Gotham remain open at this time. Our Board of Directors needs to establish new advertising rates, which will be lower than those in the printed edition. If you know of anyone who might be interested in advertising in our online Gotham, please refer them to the site or contact Margarite with your ideas. We also hope to be able to add share buttons and social media icons to the new Gotham, but these details also need to be reviewed by the Board as they are a departure from the policy relating to our printed edition.

Going Online
We ask for patience as we launch both sites. Naturally, we hope that everything will go smoothly, but as is often the case with technical procedures, members may encounter bugs or glitches with either site, whether they be browser or device related. If you should experience any difficulties with either site, please let us know. Our development team is accustomed to designing websites for our industry, and they are ready to address any such issues. Finally, these sites were created for our members, so we would love to get your feedback on them!

About the Author

Gigi BranchGigi Branch is a freelance Fr > En translator who specializes in marketing and editorial translations. She has been a member of the New York Circle for the past 10 years. She also works as a Digital Content Manager and Project Coordinator.