Though it is today viewed by many as the embodiment of “Americana”, Texas has been ruled by six separate nations. From 1519 to 1685, the territory was controlled by Spain. The French claimed it as their own in 1685, but it fell under the rule of Spain again in 1690. In 1821, Mexico took ownership of Texas, before it became the independent Republic of Texas in 1836. It dropped its Republic title and joined the United States of America In 1845, before leaving the Union and joining the Confederate States of America in 1861. However, the Confederacy was short lived and Texas rejoined the United States in 1865 and remains a member of the union to this day. Don’t worry, we don’t really get it either.
Given Texas’ history, it should come as no surprise that it is home to many immigrants and non-English speakers. In fact, it is estimated that two million Texas residents do not speak English at all. This makes it the ideal spot to establish a translation agency. But what languages should your agency focus on? Here are the five most requested languages for translation in Texas.
Texas sits right next to Mexico and, as such, has a large Spanish-speaking population. Many of the state’s Spanish-speaking residents came over from Mexico later in life, meaning their English in significantly underdeveloped. In order to complete the various forms required to live comfortably in the United States, these native Spanish speakers require the assistance of a Spanish to English translator.
According to the 2010 US census, the city of Houston alone is home to nearly 40,000 Vietnamese Americans. A significant portion of that 40,000 are native Vietnamese, with many having little to know understanding of English. In order to ease the plight of non-English-speaking Vietnamese immigrants in Texas, many translation agencies offer Vietnamese to English interpretation.
The demand for Arabic to English translation is increasing throughout America, and the state of Texas is no exception. An estimated 82,000 Texans speak Arabic as their first language, with many struggling to master English. In order to fully acclimate to live in the state, they require the services of an Arabic to English translator. An Arabic to English translator can also expect significant business from native English speakers who need help understanding Arabic documents. This is largely owing to the growing number of Muslim converts in Texas. To perform the Shahada – essentially the Islamic equivalent of Baptism – an individual must recite a complex passage in perfect Arabic, regardless of their first language. For a native English speaker, this often means enlisting the services of an Arabic interpreter.
Given the immense pride French people tend to take in their national language, many French immigrants are reluctant to learn English. Because of this, they tend to require French to English translation services when tackling Texan government forms and other formal documents. French is also a popular language among Texas’ high school students, meaning a French to English translator can increase their earning potential by also working as a tutor to native English speakers.
Texas is home to many international businesses. The vast majority of these businesses have some sort of relationship with Chinese partners. In order to facilitate easy communication with their Chinese counterparts, these companies often enlist the services of a Chinese to English translator. Corporate translation is an extremely alluring prospect to many Chinese to English translators as it ensures recurring work, as well as the possibility of being kept on retainer. For those who would prefer to restrict their Chinese to English translation services to individuals, Texas is home to a staggering 172,000 native Chinese speakers!