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Interpretation in Over 200 Languages: Is That Even Enough?

At CyraCom, one of our major claims is that we provide Over-the-Phone Interpretation services in over 200 languages. At first glance, 200 languages may seem like a lot of languages, but how does that compare with how many languages are actually spoken around the world?

According to Ethnologue, a comprehensive reference of world languages, 200 languages is actually less than 3% of all the estimated languages and dialects in the world. The reference website lists 6,912 living languages in the world today.

Well then, what about the other 6,000+ languages that CyraCom doesn’t cover?

While it’s true that there are over 6,000 living languages spoken around the world, 166 languages, or 4.7% of all languages, are spoken as first languages by 79.5% of the world’s population. That means that just a smidge over 20% of the world population speaks the remaining 6,746 languages. 5,784 of those languages are spoken by populationsless than 100,000 people each. In other words, since our interpreters are able to communicate in 200 languages, we can talk to over 80% of the world in their native tongue.

While it’s rare for someone traveling the world to come across someone who doesn’t speak the top 200 languages that we have interpreters for, it’s even rarer to come across someone in the United States. According to the US Census 2011, only 381 languages apart from English are spoken at home in the United States, which is less than 6% of the world’s languages.

Additionally, when we compared the 2006-2008 report by the US Census – which lists the number of people by language spoken at home – to the list of 200 languages that CyraCom offers, we found that our interpreters are able to communicate with 99.5% of the non-native-English-speaking population in the US.

You can rest easy: with interpreters for over 200 languages, we’ve got you covered.

Learn about Lee Health's leading language services program in the latest CyraCom case study.   Download Now