Interested in Using the NLSC?
Download the NLSC Client Fact Sheet
Languages Spoken by Our Members
Understanding Interpretation and Translation
Request NLSC Services
The foreign born population of the U.S. has reached nearly 40 million, and approximately 1-in-5 U.S. residents reported regularly speaking a foreign language at home. Because of this rich treasure of linguistic diversity, the National Language Service Corps (NLSC) constantly strives to expand the number of languages in its membership and attract the highest level of language proficiency from U.S. citizens to better meet the broad array of language requirements in the government.
The NLSC makes every effort to ensure a Member possesses a professional-level proficiency in English and another language. The NLSC invites individuals to join the membership if he or she successfully completes the NLSC-designed self-assessments at a level three proficiency in listening, speaking and reading. The score is based on the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) scale, but there are exceptions for languages less common in the United States.
Additionally, before a Member can go on his/her first assignment, she or he must take a formal test in the target language and achieve an acceptable score. Testing ensures the Member meets the language requirements established for that particular assignment based upon Client agency needs and is qualified to serve in a language capacity for the task they have been selected to support.
The NLSC membership currently offers over 300 languages based on the ISO 639-2 code table which is used for standardizing the language names worldwide. The NLSC’s language capabilities continue to grow. Click here for the complete list of the NLSC Member languages.
Become a National Language Service Corps Client
The NLSC can support your language requirements by augmenting your existing language capabilities. In fact, the NLSC has supported unexpected and/or urgent short-term needs for U.S. federal agencies and has filled language gaps where government employees are required or desired.
What We Can Do for You
The NLSC’s highly proficient Members fulfill unplanned, short-term needs in multiple languages. Serving domestically or overseas, NLSC Members are available wherever they are needed. Such scenarios include:
- Unfunded staff requirements for language needs that arise only occasionally and
with brief durations, where keeping a linguist on-staff is not cost-effective
- Low-density language requirements that cannot be met through conventional means
- Filling short-notice and emergent language requirements that otherwise cannot be
NLSC Members are also available for longer-term projects provided their assignment does not exceed 130 working days or 1040 hours in a one year period.
- “Gisted” audio tapes into English for the National Virtual Translation Center (NVTC)
- Served onboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter FORWARD for six weeks in support of African Maritime’s Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP)
- Translated a 200 page unclassified Arabic booklet for the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM)
- Served as simultaneous and consecutive interpreters at U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) exercise planning conferences and training exercises in Jordan and Kyrgyzstan
- Provided interpretation services for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Provided cultural and language training support activities for U.S. Army units
- Provided interpreter support for the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division during an investigation
- Supported Joint Prisoners of War, Missing in Action Accounting Command (JPAC) in the search for fallen U.S. heroes overseas
- Interpreted and translated for the Intelligence Community
- Assisted Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) in the validation of Defense Language Proficiency Tests (DLPTs) used in evaluating government personnel’s language proficiency,
- Interpreted during town halls and community outreach, for the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) in support of the Gulf Oil Spill Disaster
- Developed language sustainment materials in Persian-Farsi, Portuguese, Indonesian, and Swahili for the Joint Foreign Area Officers (FAO) Program.
- Provided critical international criminal message-traffic translation support for INTERPOL Washington.
The NLSC works to meet the needs of its client agencies, including recruiting Members to meet specific language needs, should the NLSC not have a Member with the language skills required by the organization.
How to Get Started
NLSC strives to provide a timely turn-around to agencies requesting its services. Therefore, if there
is a potential future requirement for the NLSC’s services, a requesting agency is encouraged to establish
a formal relationship beforehand with the NLSC. The first step in this process is to
submit a Mission Support Request (MSR)
which defines the assignment and specific language requirements, as needed. One of our staff will assist in completing the form.
If you are interested in partnering with the NLSC, contact us at 1-888‐SAY‐NLSC (729‐6572), extension 4. An NLSC representative will guide you through the process.
Comments from Agencies who have used the NLSC:
Joint Prisoners of War Accounting Command (JPAC)
"We want to thank the NLSC for the great partnership experience.
We will definitely keep NLSC in our thoughts for future planning. Again, thank you
for the great support."
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Chief, Movement Coordination Center
"Thanks for all you help - you have been invaluable!"
“Thank you for your assistance in our upcoming training event. We truthfully could not provide the high quality training to the RAF soldiers without your soldiers' experience and expertise as African role players.”
U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)
"In many instances, the NLSC interpreter knew more than
the instructor and taught the class himself. He is an awesome asset."
Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV)
"A very professional and satisfying experience."
U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC)
"The language support specialists provided to my HW were
intelligent, skillful, professional, reliable, and proficient. They were also personable
and gained the respect and trust of both the U.S. and Indonesian military during