Since early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the U.S. economy, affecting all professions, including freelance interpreters. From losing job opportunities to transitioning to remote interpreting among other changes, freelance interpreters have been impacted by the pandemic. New Jersey and New York were two of the worst affected states at the outset of the pandemic; therefore, the impact of COVID-19 on the economic condition of New Jersey and New York freelance interpreters was the focus of this investigation. Since the topic is still recent, there is limited research on the impact of the pandemic on interpreters. Research conducted by CSA Research (formerly known as Common Sense Advisory) on the impact of COVID-19 on freelance linguists worldwide provides a global overview of its economic effect; however, U.S. national and regional studies are lacking. An electronic questionnaire was prepared and sent out to New Jersey and New York freelance interpreters to explore some key questions: How has COVID-19 affected freelance interpreters’ work? Has COVID-19 affected freelance interpreters indiscriminately? Were they full-time freelancers? If not, were they able to rely on other jobs during the pandemic? What adjustments (if any) did interpreters have to make to continue working during the pandemic? What are the lessons learned from their experiences (if any)? The results of the questionnaire provide some insight on what New Jersey and New York freelance interpreters had to do to survive economically during the pandemic and highlight some lessons learned on how interpreters can become resilient in the face of crisis.

Exit Requirement


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies

Committee Chair

Elisa Maroney

Committee Member

Sosthene Mikala

Committee Member

Amanda Smith


COVID-19, economic, freelance, interpreter, remote interpreting, resilience



Type (DCMI Terms)


Subject Categories

Language Interpretation and Translation

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