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Translation and Interpretation Services for Permanent Change of Station Moves


Moving can be stressful enough, and when you add a language barrier to the event, it can cause you and your family even more anxiety. Whether you are a military spouse moving overseas or a foreign-born spouse moving to the United States, you may need the help of the translation and interpretation services offered by Military OneSource. Military OneSource is a program offered at no cost by the Department of Defense that supports military members and their families with a broad range of services.

Military OneSource telephone interpretation service can provide real-time interpretation services for more than 170 languages. Military OneSource document translation services can translate documents in more than 170 languages as well. The average turnaround for document translation is two to three days. The most translated documents are birth certificates, college transcripts, marriage documents and divorce documents.

Document translation services

If you are moving overseas, there may be opportunities for you and your family to live on the economy and to be employed in the community. In the process of getting your family settled, you may need the assistance of a translator to interpret qualifying documents including the following:

  • Leases
  • Service agreements related to utilities
  • Employment contracts
  • Employment-related benefits

If you are a foreign-born military spouse, you may have legal documents from your country that need to be translated into English. Qualifying documents could include the following:

  • Marriage licenses
  • Adoption paperwork
  • Birth certificates
  • IDs and passports
  • School transcripts and diplomas

Military OneSource translators will certify, notarize and include a certificate of authenticity for documents under 20 pages in length. If your document is fewer than 5,000 words, you can expect to receive your translation within two to three business days; however, if your document is more than that length, translators will require more time to process your request. Some documents do not qualify for translation, such as medical documents, documents exceeding 20 pages in length and fliers and brochures advertising installation events or family support programs. Military OneSource can assist you with locating resources that will translate non-qualifying documents at a reasonable cost.

For assistance with translating documents, call a Military OneSource consultant at 800-342-9647. If you are calling from outside the United States or Canada without access to the toll-free number, you can call collect at 703-253-7599. Be sure to have the document to be translated with you when you call.

Language interpretation services

As a foreign-born military spouse moving to the United States, you not only have to cope with the transition to a new home in a new country, but you may also have to deal with being unable to speak and understand English. Military OneSource has language interpretation services available by phone to reduce language as a barrier to you and your family. Military OneSource makes every effort to provide interpretation for all languages. For information about language interpretation services, visit the Military OneSource website or call 800-342-9647. If your needs for interpretation services cannot be met by Military OneSource, they will look for community and government resources that can help you.

Having translation and language interpretation services when you need them will certainly help in the PCS transition to your overseas installation or to your new home in the United States. 


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