When it comes to talking about the best translation services in Hmong, it may be hard to pronounce the phrase kev pab txhais lus zoo tshaj plaws in Hmong (if Google Translate is to be trusted) but that does not diminish their importance. The Hmong community in the USA is one of several groups of Asian Americans living in the country for more than 40 years now. 

The Hmong language is native to China, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand and has several varieties spoken by over 3.7 native speakers, which also includes the 280,000 Hmong Americans. Since the Hmong population in the USA has settled well and is growing in numbers, there is a necessity to provide high quality professional translation and interpretation services in Hmong to facilitate the interaction between its representatives and the other communities in the country. 

What do you need to know about Hmong in the USA? 

The majority of Hmong Americans are decedents from China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. The first Hmong came to the US as refugees as a result of the Vietnam People’s Army occupation of Laos in December, 1975. Initially, only 1,000 Hmong people came to the US but by 1978 their number were up to 30,000. 

Now, as per the latest data of 2013, the Hmong represent 0.08% of the U.S. population or nearly 281,000 people. The growth in their numbers after 2000 is due primarily to natural increase since traditionally a Hmong family has several children. Quite often there are six family members in a household. The people are quite closed as a group and over 95% of Hmong Americans are only Hmong while the remaining are of mixed origin with another ethnicity or race. Still, the Hmong groups will continue to be one of the fastest growing Asian groups in the states. 

There are four states, where the Hmong population is concentrated. The leading number of Hmong people lives in California – 86,989, followed by Minnesota with 63,619, Wisconsin with 47,127, and North Carolina with 10,433.  

It is important to note that the Hmong population has a very different culture and tradition than those of the Americans and the majority of people who came to the country were farmers or soldiers at that time and were illiterate. Now, the younger generation is striving to get better integrated at schools and in the labor force.

How to find the best translation services in Hmong? 

To facilitate the integration of Hmong people, it is necessary to give them access to accurate translation and interpretation services to and from their language.  

Since the number of Hmong is naturally rising in the USA, the interest towards the language has also increased and many language service providers now offer professional assistance and some of the best translation services in Hmong provided by native speakers.  

It is essential to facilitate the access of Hmong people to education, for example. Since many of the children come from a background with no-English speaking family, they need some additional support at school to be able to benefit from the educational system.

The good news is that the younger generation of Hmong people is made of literate, ambitious young people who can promote the benefits of bilingual education and become the next well-trained translators and interpreters with Hmong.  

Hmong and medical services: Why language assistance matters?  

One of the critical areas, where translation and interpreting services in Hmong are essential is healthcare. One of the big hurdles that medical staff has to overcome, beside the lack of knowledge in English, is the great difference between the traditional health system of Hmong people and the American health system.

Hmong people believe in the healing powers of spirits and do not trust the modern approaches of contemporary medicine. They regard anesthesia, surgery, blood transfusion, and other standard medical procedures as taboo. Quite often, the family will try to heal the member using their traditional medicine and if they approach a medical institution, the person will already be in quite deteriorated condition.

In many cases, when paramedics are summoned to an emergency, they receive no support by the family, which is partially due to the language barrier and to the traditional passive behavior and respect to authority which is intrinsic for their culture.  

The non-profit organization Cultural Survival, outlines several such instances and tries to explain the necessity of a medical translator and interpreter in their article Hmong Refugees and the US Health System

A person trained in the culture and language of Hmong people will be invaluable as a medical interpreter. Such professionals not only break the language barrier as per the requirements of title IV of the Civil Rights Act, which stipulates that each health care institution must provide medical interpretation to parents who do not speak English, but facilitate the understanding between two very different cultures. 

Facts and Details reports that a California hospital allows Hmong shaman rituals as part of their treatment for Hmong people. The Mercy Medical Center in Merced treats almost four Hmong patients daily combining the advanced medicine approaches with the traditional Hmong healing methods. This was the country’s first hospital to officially recognize the cultural role of traditional healers and welcome them inside the facility in order to be able to provide better treatment for its patients. There are nine approved shaman ceremonies performed in the hospital along with using syringes, blood glucose monitors, and all other necessary tools and treatments.  

As a conclusion we can point out that the right way to say “best translation services” in Hmong is by showing understanding to their indigenous culture. By providing high-quality language services we show our desire to respectfully include the members of the Hmong community in all levels of education, healthcare, work, and communication in general.  

If you are looking for the best language solutions, you can trust ICD to answer your demand in every language you need.  


10 things about Hmong culture, food and language you probably didn’t know by MPR News 

Hmong in America by Facts and Details 

Hmong Refugees and the US Health System by Cultural Survival  

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