Languages of Limited Diffusion

The mission of the Languages of Lesser Diffusion (LLD) work group is to support trainers working with interpreters of languages of limited diffusion.  Their focus includes, but is not limited to, the identification of resources, as well as information and guidance on dealing with language proficiency testing, help developing technical terminology, and supporting interpreting students who speak LLDs, including those for which there is no written form or only minimal diffusion of a written form. If you have resources to contribute to the data base, if you want to comment on a listed resource or if you have other questions or comments, please contact us at: [email protected]

The Languages of Limited Diffusion (LLD) Workgroup is developing a Resource Data Base for the use of interpreter trainers in need of a range of resources such as Web sites, dictionaries, glossaries and others. We will update the LLD Resource Data Base monthly. To search the EXCEL data base use ctrl f and type your key word like 'Arabic' or 'kidney'.

LLD COVID-19 Resources

Click here to access the Languages of Limited Diffusion Resource Data Base.

Our Database has a useful feature!

  • We have linked resources that have been reviewed directly to their review for your convenience.
  • Resources with a “Review” companion have been identified as “This resource has been reviewed…” in the title column
  • PLEASE NOTE: The link will only be active once you download the file into your computer.

Click here for trainer tips

Click here for reviewed resources.

LLD Defined

Defining the term “languages of limited diffusion” (LLD) is a little harder than it looks because there are a variety of perspectives used when looking at LLDs.  Most broadly, an LLD is any language in a geographic area in the U.S.--like a city, county or region—where the population of speakers is relatively small.  A specific language like French may be an LLD in Ames, Iowa but not in New York City.  Another way to look at LLD is that a language has only a small population in its country of origin. A language like Munduruku is an example of this perspective.  LLDs can be further subdivided between languages with a rich history of writing and many available resources (dictionaries, grammars, medical books) in contrast to groups without this as well as low levels of literacy and education for the speakers.