The literature on language barriers traditionally has centered on communicative challenges during provider-patient interactions. Nevertheless, language barriers can compromise a language-discordant patient’s access to, process of, and outcomes of care. By recognizing that language barriers are situated in sociopolitical and sociocultural environments of the larger society, we examined the similarities and differences of individuals’ experiences of language barriers in Japan and the United States. We recruited 60 participants for in-depth interviews. Using narrative analysis in conjunction with thematic analysis, we theorized how these individuals’ experiences of language barriers can be shaped and constrained by the larger sociopolitical and sociocultural contexts.