Mayor's Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs

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MOAPIA Language Bank

Two men and two women are pointing and looking at an opened book

Language Bank Flyer

About the Bank

The purpose of the Language Bank is to provide District Agencies a connection to volunteer community interpreters and translators to supplement their efforts to provide in-language programming.  MOAPIA will maintain a database of interpreters and translators. The database includes information on interpreters and translators:

  • Names and contact information
  • Languages spoken and written
  • Education
  • Specific training in interpretation and/or translation
  • Previous experience as an interpreter or translator

How It Works

MOAPIA will solicit and maintain a database of individuals who express interested in providing their language skill to the District.  The individuals will self-identify their language qualifications.  District Agencies will register with MOAPIA in order to have access to the database.  Once registered, they will be able to submit Jobs to MOAPIA who will send the jobs out to the list of registered volunteers.  If there is a match, MOAPIA will connect the two parties and the Agency can provide additional details and logistics as needed.

For Volunteers - http://goo.gl/sxyuEt

Individuals who have a language specialty interested in volunteering their time will complete a registration and language self-assessment questionnaire with MOAPIA.  If a volunteer finds an assignment they are interested in, MOAPIA will make the connection by only providing the name and email or phone of the volunteer.  All other information will not be shared and be protected by MOAPIA.

For District Agencies - http://goo.gl/p0Asnq

The database is available to District Agencies who sign up with MOAPIA and need community interpreters and/or translators to assist them in communicating with AAPI residents and merchants.  MOAPIA maintains this database as part of its technical assistance efforts to Agencies.  MOAPIA does not guarantee the quality of these individuals if used for other purposes than suggested, but will provide the list a description of the required job and will connect the interpreter/translator with the Agency directly.  The Agency should make a final determination based on the skill set if the volunteer meets their own criteria, MOAPIA will provide a recommendation assist in this determination.

How to secure an Interpreter/Translator: To request a Job - http://goo.gl/POKmqJ

  1. Register with MOAPIA
  2. Send a description of the project in the required template
  3. Contact the interpreter/translator who responds to the request.

Suggested Jobs for Volunteers

Agencies should carefully review the qualifications of each volunteer before agreeing to work with that individual.  MOAPIA suggests the following jobs that are appropriate for volunteer interpreters.  The Agency has the final decision with regards if they choose the individual based on their qualifications.  MOAPIA will connect the volunteer with the Agency and provide guidance and suggestions on:


  • Greet/Usher LEP individuals at events
  • Register LEP individuals at events
  • Provide basic intake demographic information of LEP individuals (i.e. name, address, phone)
  • Answer basic questions on District government programs (MOAPIA can provide guidance and please be sure to inform the volunteer what they will need to interpret in advance)


  • Quality control on professionally translated documents
  • Translation of outreach materials that are created for LEP individuals in plain language [like with any translation all documents should go through a QC process after the initial translation]
  • Assistance with reading time sensitive correspondence to get the general overview before a professional translator can be secured.
  • For other work not listed above, please consult MOAPIA for guidance.


Contact Phone: 
(202) 727-3120
Contact Fax: 
(202) 727-9655
Contact TTY: 
Contact Suite #: 
Office Hours: 
Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 6 pm
Service Location: 

441 4th Street, NW

GIS Address: 
441 4th Street, NW