Welcome to the National Language Service Corps (NLSC)
The NLSC is a readily available group of language volunteers who provide supplemental language
resources to U.S. federal agencies. Whether there is a national need, a regional emergency, or
a national security requirement, the NLSC’s members can assist a U.S. federal agency fill foreign
language needs with readily available multilingual U.S. citizens.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 300 languages other than English are spoken in the U.S.
and 6,909 living languages are documented worldwide. Unofficial estimates based on a comparison of
Census data on ethnicity, country of origin, languages spoken, as well as local education agency data
on languages spoken in schools could top 900. In 2007, 20% of the U.S. population reported that they
did not speak English at home. The linguistic makeup of the U.S. indicates a need for dedicated language
resources not only in local communities but also the government at large.
A first-of-its-kind government organization, the NLSC offers multilingual speakers the opportunity
to volunteer their language skills and be a bridge to their language communities. These individuals,
known as NLSC Members, speak, listen, read, and understand English and another language and make
themselves available to help others when a U.S. Government requirement arises. NLSC Members have
the opportunity and privilege to help their country, their neighbors, and their fellow citizens by
participating in national efforts when their expertise can truly make a difference. Members can be
called upon in times of need to use their interpreting, translating, teaching, and/or subject matter
expertise skills to assist others in the United States and around the world during short-term assignments.
These assignments are predicated on the needs of U.S. federal agencies and their sudden short-term
requirements for language speakers. Such assignments may require NLSC Members to apply their skills
to support planning conferences, cultural orientations, training exercises, and translation &
interpretation activities. Any given NLSC assignment is unique to the agency’s needs, so the
activities vary broadly. The diversity of requirements means that NLSC Members have participated
in assignments in places around the country and the world including Georgia, Louisiana, Washington,
D.C., Florida, Thailand, Vietnam Kyrgyzstan, Jordan, and Indonesia. For other Members, travel has
not been a requirement allowing them to support assignments from their home office.
When NLSC Members are not on assignment, they are a part of a unique network of language volunteers
located throughout the world. Once you are accepted as a Member, you have access to interact virtually
with the NLSC network of member. You can also visit language discussions via LinkedIn, a Members-only
Facebook group, and Twitter. The NLSC also hosts face-to-face events for its Members to network throughout
the nation with Regional Chapter events and monthly Meet & Greet events.
If you value the opportunity to use your language skills in support of a national
need, then we urge you to apply to become an NLSC Member