Since 1921, Nationalities Service Center (NSC) has been providing language translation and interpretation services to immigrants, refugees, and others from all over the globe right here in Philadelphia.
Today we also serve businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, and
individuals on projects of every size, scope, and subject.
Our Center City office is an important touchpoint for Philadelphians of all backgrounds, and our roots in the community go deep.
Larger, for-profit agencies focus on getting the cheapest translators to do huge volumes of work, but at NSC, we’re a little different. Our grassroots network of connections within immigrant communities and translation organizations means that we’ll find the best person for the job, every time, in more than 150 languages!
We also offer English editing and proofreading services to ensure that your documents are the best they can be. Whether you’re a nonprofit social service agency or a business seeking new customers,
NSC’s high-quality translation, interpretation, and editing services mean that not only will you get the flawless finished product you need—you’ll build relationships with the people you want to reach.
We invite you to explore our site to learn more about what we do. If you’re ready to get started, or if you have questions, click here to contact us.
Call to Action
Become an Interpreter!
Join us for an interpreter training workshop at Nationalities Service Center. No interpretation experience is necessary. Click here to learn more.
Juan Lara, Director of Translation and Interpretation, joined Nationalities Service Center in May 2011 with a strong background in translation project management. As an immigrant from Colombia and a Spanish speaker, he is passionately devoted to helping immigrants and refugees.
When he’s not implementing cutting-edge translation technology or connecting with outstanding linguists, you can find him playing soccer, hiking, or biking with his wife and two children.
He may be reached at email@example.com or 215-609-1548
Lilian Wehbe, Sales and Marketing Coordinator, joined the organization in June of 2013. She immigrated to the United States when she was about two years old from her native country, Lebanon and continued to strengthen and develop her Arabic speaking skills. She is a recent graduate of neighboring Temple University, studying sociology and political science.
Lilian aligns herself greatly with the mission of Nationalities Service Center and when shes not managing interpretation requests, she is immersed in social justice activism and strengthening her expertise in the area of socio-economic inequality.
She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-609-1547
Suzanne Grossman, Lead Interpreter Training Project Manager, has been working at Nationalities Service Center since May 2011. Suzanne earned her Master of Science Degree in Cultural Studies from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, after completing her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre and Anthropology at Smith College in Northampton, MA. Born in Philadelphia, Suzanne lived in Spain and Scotland for six years before returning back home. Her love of travel and commitment to working in international educational environments has developed her strong belief in the importance of translation and interpretation to help bridge language and cultural barriers.
Outside of work, she enjoys baking, knitting, making jewelry and playing with her two cats, Belle and Gus.
She may be reached at email@example.com or 215-609-1544
Natalie Olshevski, Interpreter Training Project Manager, joined NSC in August 2014. Natalie received her Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Applied Psychology from NYU.
She studied abroad in Italy and France before graduating and working as a social worker. Natalie later moved to Santiago, Chile to teach English as a Second Language and returned to the United States to continue teaching. Having lived abroad, Natalie wants to continue working towards goals that connect people from different cultures and language backgrounds. In her free time, she enjoys biking, playing with her dog, cooking, and traveling.
She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-609-1541
Fenan Samuel, Interpretation and Translation Project Manager, Joined Nationalities Service Center in June of 2014. Fenan attended Earlham College, where she studied Political Science and received her Bachelor of Arts degree. She later went on to complete her Master's degree in International Relations from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. She has been calling the United States home since emigrating from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1998. As an immigrant, Fenan has a committed interest in mitigating language and cultural hurdles often experienced by immigrants and refugees who live within her community.
Fenan recently relocated from New York City to Philadelphia, and has been volunteering her free time utilizing her language skills to support new immigrants moving to the Philadelphia area. Fenan greatly enjoys vintage shopping, amateur photography, travelling, live concerts, and making jewelry.
She may be reached at email@example.com
Nora Meighan, Interpretation and Translation Project Manager, joined Nationalities Service Center in September of 2014. Nora graduated from Drexel University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology, focusing on community organizing. Through an internship, she also spent time in Oaxaca, Mexico, supporting the efforts of community museums.
With her background in cultural studies, Nora understands the rich rewards that come from a city of strong and diverse communities. Because of this, she is dedicated to easing the steep linguistic and cultural barriers that immigrant communities often face. Having grown up right outside of Philadelphia, Nora is always excited to welcome people from many cultures to her home town.
She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-609-1551
Accuracy is our first priority. When you send us your documents, we’ll take the time to ask intelligent
questions to make sure we understand your needs.
We review documents thoroughly before we quote
a price so that you’ll never get any surprises on your final invoice.
Our Process Continued
Once you’ve approved our surprisingly affordable costs, we match you with a qualified professional translator. Our translators have years of experience and are active in professional associations; all are native speakers of the language into which they translate. We work closely with them to confirm that their translations are appropriate to the region, dialect, culture, industry, and context of the target audience.
We never use machine translation. Period.
We use technology to enhance our linguists’ capabilities, not to substitute for them. At NSC you can rest assured that your documents are being translated by qualified, professional human beings with relevant experience.
Once the document has been translated by a native speaker, we engage a second linguist to edit and proofread the translation thoroughly, a crucial step in accurate translation that is often skipped by many larger agencies.
Finally, our project manager reviews the translation and adjusts all formatting to ensure that the finished product is the polished, accurate document you need.
Nationalities Service Center is a full-service translation agency. We translate more than 150 languages, both into English and from English into other languages. We work with dozens of industries on a wide range of materials, including government documents, instruction manuals, training materials, academic research, marketing research, medical records, signs, surveys, menus, and legal documents—and our network of professional translators means that we’ll match you with the right translator for the job, no matter what the language or subject matter.
Whether it’s a courtroom, an emergency room, or a boardroom, some of the most stressful and most important places are where our interpreters are needed the most. A qualified interpreter from Nationalities Service Center can help you avoid costly or even life-threatening mistakes. Our interpreters are native speakers and consummate professionals with strong qualifications in their fields. In a medical emergency, we’ll send an interpreter who speaks the right dialect and knows medical jargon, so that the patient, the family, and the medical staff can all make informed decisions. We work with professional associations of specialized interpreters in fields like law and medicine to find the most accomplished professionals in each field.
We’re comfortable working with interpreting situations of different sizes, and we’ll do it on your schedule. Do you need to line up specialized interpreters in six languages a year ahead of time for an academic conference? We’ll have them ready for you. Do you need a medical interpreter who speaks Wu to get there ASAP? We’re on it. How about a sign language interpreter for your political rally or a Japanese interpreter who knows all of the appropriate etiquette for an international business meeting? From press conferences to domestic violence shelters, our interpreters will bridge the gap between languages and cultures whenever and wherever you need them. Call us at 215-609-1547 or request a quote online and we’ll get in touch with you right away.
Sign Language Interpretation
Nationalities Service Center is committed to working with the Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities to ensure equal access for all. We regularly provide American Sign Language interpretation services for public events, schools, and hospitals. We also work with local suppliers to provide assistive listening devices and other equipment. Please contact us to learn more.
Editing and Proofreading
English is notoriously difficult to learn, and many business owners are too busy serving their customers to worry about the intricate details of English grammar. But a typographical error or a misunderstanding in a crucial document can harm your image and cost you business. Let us help you reach out to your customers. We offer English editing and proofreading services to ensure that your signs, menus, brochures, websites, and other written materials are in clear, professional, flawless English.
Interpreters Training Workshop
Community-Based Interpreter Training Course
ENTER THE GROWING FIELD OF LANGUAGE INTERPRETATION!
Join us for our Community-Based Interpreter Training Workshop at Nationalities Service Center to learn more. No interpretation experience is necessary. The workshop is open to all individuals. If you love languages, meeting new people, and thinking on your feet, this course is for you! You’ll learn about:
Different methods of interpretation, such as simultaneous and consecutive
The role of the interpreter in healthcare, business, and other professional settings
Intercultural communication, cultural competency, and how to be a “culture broker”
Ethics and boundaries
Clarifying, paraphrasing, and communicating shades of meaning
The workshop will use experiential learning, which means you’ll get plenty of chances to practice
interpretation strategies and techniques in different situations. At the end of the course, you’ll have a solid understanding of the basics of the interpretation profession, a toolkit of techniques, and a great foundation to interact with interpreters professionally or to train for your career as a professional language interpreter.
For more information, please contact:
Suzanne Grossman, Lead Interpreter Training Project Manager, Department of Interpretation and Translation
email@example.com - (215) 609-1544
Help your community. Earn a great living. Make a difference. Become an interpreter.
Balance the Scales: Court Interpreter Training
Balance the Scales (BTS)
A 40-Hour Court Interpreter Training
Developed and taught by experienced and certified court interpreters, this course teaches the practical skills required to pass the state-sponsored test* to become a court interpreter, as well as useful on-the-job techniques.
This course takes a practice-based approach to allow participants to develop their interpreting skills as well as expand their knowledge of the demands of court interpreters.
*Participants must register and pay for the oral proficiency exam sponsored by the state as it is not included in the course.
You will learn
Techniques for improving consecutive and simultaneous interpreting and sight translation.
To identify common errors in court interpreting and learn tips to avoid them.
How to prepare for the court interpreter exam and how to register.
A variety of practice-based activities for comprehensive vocabulary development.
To understand the different types of courts and the procedures in each court.
Memory development activities and note-taking skills.
How to apply the Code of Ethics to your work as a court interpreter.
Upcoming Course Dates:
Saturdays, February 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, and March 7th, from 9am to 5:30pm all five days.
- All course materials are included in the cost of the course.
- The course is limited to 15 participants. Registration is open on a first-come, first-served basis.
- The course is language neutral, so participants of all languages are welcome and encouraged to attend.
- In order to qualify for the course, participants must demonstrate one of the following:
- Letter from an employer stating that you have at least one year of experience working as a staff interpreter or independently contracted interpreter
- Letter from an employer stating that you have at least one year of experience working as a bilingual staff member with legal training
- Confirmation of attendance from a state-sponsored court interpreter orientation workshop
- Proof of completion of a 40 hour (or longer) professional interpreter training program or workshop
About the Instructor:
Javi Aguilar was born in Mexico City. He is a polyglot (Spanish, English, French and Italian). He studied International Relations at the Universidad de las Américas (UDLA), in Puebla, México and immigrated to Philadelphia in 1987 to attend Drexel University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Technical and Scientific Communication. Javi has also taught Spanish and English at his alma mater and at the Wharton School of Business and taught the Interpreter Training Program at the Lingual Institute. After 11 years of service as technical editor at Drexel University and Coordinator of the Computing Services Department, he joined First Judicial District Family Court as a full-time interpreter and translator in 2005. He has been certified by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts since 2010.
Javi is an expert at finding language equivalencies adhering to the spirit of the subject while keeping the register in its context, a true “interpreter whisperer” skill.
For more information, please contact:
Natalie Olshevski,, Interpreter Training Project Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org - (215) 609-1541
Bridging the Gap
Bridging the Gap
Intensive Medical - Interpreting Training
The 40 hour training takes place over 5 days:
January 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 23rd 2014
Cost: $500 to register before December 11th, $550 to register after December 11th
February 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st, 27th*
*Snow Day Makeup (if needed) February 28
Cost: $500 to register before January 15th, $550 to register after January 15th
Classes take place from 9am to 5:30pm all days.
American Red Cross
2221 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
TESTING AND REGISTRATION BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.
1216 Arch Street, 4th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Course materials are included in the cost of the course. All students will receive:
A fully updated medical interpretation textbook,
A bilingual medical glossary in the student’s language combination,
A guide to commonly prescribed medications.
For questions or to register, please contact:
Natalie Olshevski, Interpreter Training Project Manager
Department of Translation and Interpretation
Bridging the Gap Continued
Are you ready to become a professional medical interpreter?
This exciting and rewarding career is growing fast. Professional and high-quality foreign language interpreters are a crucial part of health care delivery as hospitals, clinics, schools, and doctors’ offices serve a growing and diverse population of immigrants and patients with limited or no English proficiency. Delivering accurate medical information to patients and health care providers can save lives. This 40-hour training course trains bilingual health care professionals, interpreters, and translators in the theory, mechanics, ethics, and business of the medical interpretation field.
Bridging the Gap is a nationally recognized training that is accepted by the American Translators Association for continuing education credit and provides excellent preparation for the national certification requirements. This course is considered the best introductory course to the medical interpreting field available in the US—and that distinction is important to hospitals and health care providers, which want to ensure that the interpreters they hire know and adhere to the standards of the field. Bridging the Gap will give students a strong foundation for the professional standards (including skills, ethics, cultural sensitivity, and best practices) of medical interpretation. The course helps students understand how the US healthcare system works and their role within it, covers basic anatomy and medical terminology, examines cultural differences in healing practices, and delves into professional ethics, boundaries, advocacy, and conduct.
Students will need to demonstrate proficiency in English and their non-English language in order to be accepted for the training. Classes and written exams are conducted in English, but students will work in their own language combinations for in-class practice exercises and role-playing. Students who pass the final exam will receive a certificate of successful completion and will be eligible for more advanced training courses.
Bridging the Gap Course Topics
(1) Basic Interpreting Skills
What is—and isn’t—your job as an interpreter? What are the professional standards for medical interpreters? Includes techniques and skill drills.
(2) Introduction to Health Care
What should medical interpreters know about medicine? How does the US health care system work?
The Culture of Biomedicine,
(3) Culture in Interpreting
What happens when Western medicine meets other cultural ideas about healing? How can interpreters help clients—and health care providers—understand what is happening in a culturally appropriate way?
Basic Characteristics of Specific Cultures,
Traditional Healing Practices,
(4) Communication Skills for Advocacy
When should an interpreter become an advocate? How can you fully understand your clients’ needs?