The Top 5 Languages to Focus on During an Immigration Interpreter Course

The United States is known for having a wide variety of languages across its 50 states. If you want to learn how to become an immigration interpreter, it is a good idea to start by looking at which languages are the most spoken in the US. These are usually the ones that are the most in demand for interpretation services. The top five languages to focus on during an immigration interpreter course are Spanish, Portuguese, French, Chinese, and Arabic.

1. Spanish is the Most Popular Language for an Immigration Interpreter Course

Spanish is an obvious choice for the most popular language for immigration interpreters in the US. Spanish speakers make up a huge portion of the country due to its proximity to Latin America. Around 42% of US immigrants in 2018 spoke Spanish,1 meaning that it would be a solid choice for an immigration interpreter course because of the high demand for interpreters in the language. Overall, if you decide to take Spanish immigration interpreter classes online, you can rest assured knowing that it is a very popular option.

2. Chinese is Another Option for an Immigration Interpreter Course

Chinese is another good option due to its relative popularity as a language. 6% of US immigrants speak Chinese, which is second only to Spanish in terms of popularity.1 Furthermore, Chinese is the most spoken language at home (besides English and Spanish) in 7 states: New York, Washington, Wyoming, Delaware, Missouri, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.2 This is a good sign for an immigration interpreter course because of the large amount of Chinese speakers who could use help with immigration to the states.

3. Portuguese is in Demand for an Immigration Interpreter Course

Portuguese is another good choice for a language because although it isn’t one of the largest percentages of immigrant languages, it is widely spoken in specific states. It is the most commonly spoken language at home (besides English and Spanish) in four states: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Utah.2 Taking Portuguese immigration interpreter classes online is a great choice in these states because of the large population who speak the language.

4. Taking an Immigration Interpreter Course in French or Haitian Creole is a Good Choice

French is a popular choice for an immigration interpreter course as well. 3% of US immigrants spoke it as of 20181 and Haitian Creole is the most spoken language at home (after English and Spanish) in Florida.2 The large population of Haitians makes it a good language for immigration interpreter training.

5. Arabic is a Desirable Language for an Immigration Interpreter Course

Last but not least, Arabic is a common language if you want to take an immigration interpreting program online. It is the most commonly spoken language in seven US states: West Virginia, Virginia, Idaho, Iowa, Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan.2 Arabic is also one of the fastest-growing languages in the US, which makes it ideal for a focus during an immigration interpreter course.


  1. Budiman, Abby, et al. “Facts on U.S. Immigrants, 2018,” Pew Research Center, 20 Aug. 2020.
  2. Kiersz, Andy, et al. “This Map Shows the Most Commonly Spoken Language in Every US State, Excluding English and Spanish.” Business Insider, 12 Aug. 2020.

Get the necessary online interpreter training in order to become a competent professional interpreter. Register now for one of our online interpreter training programs:  Online Medical Interpreter Training  Online Legal Interpreter Training, Online Immigration Interpreter Training,Online Community & Business Interpreter Training, or familiarize yourself with different types of interpreting and start developing your interpreting skills in our Introduction to Interpreting training program.

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Erica Macri

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