Translation services firm gets boost from In-Q-Tel

The CIA's investment arm is betting on a new translation technology as a tool for intelligence officers analyzing foreign language documents.

In-Q-Tel made the undisclosed investment in Lingotek of Provo, Utah. Lingotek will use the money to further development of its translation tools and to expand into new markets, said Rob Vandenber, Lingotek's vice president of sales and marketing.

"The government is a growth market for us," he said. "We have evaluations and some pilots going on now."

The technology Lingotek has developed is a Web-based repository of translation memories, which are stored words and phrases that have been previously translated. The repository allows for quicker translations because the translator is prompted by the system and has the option of plugging in the information from the system.

The system starts with a baseline or library of words and phrases, but it collects more information as it is used, Vandenberg said. "The system is least helpful when you first use it but each item you translate gets added to the database," he said.

Because it is Web-based, it also allows for greater collaboration among translators, which enables them to share more information and expertise, Vandenberg said.

The Lingotek system also includes machine translation, dictionaries and project workflow features, he said.

In-Q-Tel, of Arlington, Va., is a venture capital firm that invests in companies to keep the CIA equipped with the latest information technology solutions.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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