MONTEREY, Calif., June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The debate over Arizona's new immigration law, SB 1070, continues to boil and create worry for Spanish-speaking residents who have been the focus of the bill. At the same time, a new report from Language Line Services revealing a surge in demand for interpretation for the more than 170 different languages currently spoken in the United States gives insight into the difficulty of relying on "reasonable suspicion" to question and detain possible undocumented immigrants.
In addition to increased demand for interpretation in more common languages such as Mandarin, Spanish, Cantonese, French and Arabic, the Language Line(R) LanguageTrak report also found major spikes in demand for less common languages including Tigrinya, an Ethiopian language, which experienced a more than 200 percent growth in demand in the cities of Phoenix, Ft. Worth and Baltimore; Burmese, which was requested more than 60 percent more often in Memphis, Indianapolis and San Antonio; and Farsi requests, which increased by more than 90 percent in Detroit, Jacksonville and Houston when comparing Q12009 to Q12010. (See chart below for additional statistics.)
Language Line Services President and COO Louis Provenzano noted that, according to the census, more than 47 million people in the United States speak a language other than English at home and within their multilingual communities. "With the vast variety of languages spoken in the U.S., enforcing this law without discriminating against one ethnic group will be extremely difficult," added Provenzano. "Language Line Services' most recent LanguageTrak report drives home this reality with data showing increased demand for more than half of the 179 languages currently spoken in the United States."
Language Line Services provides immediate interpretation to nearly 90 percent of the nation's 911 call centers, thousands of health care providers and government agencies -- as well as more than 75 percent of Fortune 500 companies. The firm is in a constant cycle of predicting and responding to demographic changes which result in increased need to serve emerging languages speakers.
With over 25 years of historical language trend data and analysis, Language Line Services tracks surges in the demand for particular languages within virtually every geographic area. As a result, the company is often the first to identify emerging communities of limited-English speaking individuals. To accomplish this, Language Line Services uses a proprietary system -- LanguageTrak -- to follow real-time demographic information on emerging language trends for more than 170 languages nationwide, as well as new languages as they come to light. LanguageTrak is also available for subscribers such as banks, utilities, government agencies, hospitals, telecommunications, insurance, and other service providers who must know the latest changes in the language needs of their communities to best serve them.
"The ever-changing variety of languages spoken in the U.S. is a reality that many organizations face on a daily basis," said Provenzano. "Language Line Services' expertise in accurate and timely information on language needs as they emerge allows our clients the opportunity to focus on their core strengths while better serving new and evolving communities."
For example, Provenzano noted that in First quarter of 2010, the demand for Nepali support increased by more than 300 percent for Language Line Services customers based in the Chicago metro area. "By being prepared with the proper language resources, institutions that serve the greater Chicago area can confidently and seamlessly address the needs of new and existing customers," added Provenzano.
About Language Line Services
Language Line Services, the global leader in telephone interpreting and language solutions, serves clients in government, health care, telecom, financial services, insurance and many other industries by quickly connecting them to their customers, patients and sales prospects in more than 170 spoken languages as well as American and Mexican sign language. Growth of the language interpreting industry has soared with increased immigration and government regulatory policies mandating that organizations provide services to limited English speakers in their own languages. Language Line Services is recognized as a trusted partner to thousands of clients throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, providing access to the industry's fastest language interpreting service at highly competitive rates. For more information about Language Line Services' suite of telephone and video interpreting, document translation, interactive software-based translation, interpreter training and certification programs, please call +1 (800) 752-6096 or visit http://www.languageline.com.
Sidebar: Growing Demand for Language Interpretation
First Quarter 2009 Compared with First Quarter 2010
New York, Chicago, Dallas
Denver, Boston, Atlanta
Memphis, Indianapolis, San Antonio
Detroit, Jacksonville, Houston
Phoenix, Ft Worth, Baltimore
Editor's note: A complete list of detailed language statistics by geography is available upon request. The information above reflects the languages most requested by emergency services, government agencies, health care facilities and businesses.
SOURCE Language Line Services