LANGUAGE SERVICES

Increases in translation capability, new technology, and improved prioritization processes now allow the FBI to promptly address all of the highest priority counterterrorism intelligence, often within 24 hours.

Management

  • Established the Language Services Translation Center, a command and control structure at FBIHQ to ensure that our translator resource base of over 1,400 translators, distributed across 52 field offices, is strategically aligned with operational and national intelligence priorities; moved to Directorate of Intelligence in 10/04
  • Established National Virtual Translation Center in 2/03 to match excess translation capacity with translation needs within the Intelligence Community
  • Instituted a national translation quality assurance program.

Hiring

  • Current capability of translating in 100 languages, with the number of linguists in certain high priority languages (e.g., Middle Eastern and North African languages) increasing by 200% or more.
  • 80,000 applicants processed since 9/11/01
  • "Increased our total capability from 784 to 1,430, including both FBI employees and contract linguists.
Training
  • Added investments in language training and cultural awareness; training and/or self-study materials provided to 1,470 FBI employees in 32 languages last year alone.
  • Partnered with Foreign Service Institute to develop and sponsor language training and foreign-duty instruction 6,200 hours of training to 172 FBI employees over the past two years.

Technology

  • All FBI linguists now connected via secure networks that allow a linguist in one office to work on projects for another office.
  • Built secure network that allows us to efficiently route Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) audio collection to any FBI field office; allows more effective use of our national translator base.
  • Implemented workflow management software that tracks response time.
On -Board FBI Linguists
Language 9/11/2001 7/27/2006 Growth Since 09/11/01
Arabic 70 269 284%
Chinese 68 158 132%
Farsi 24 79 183%
French 16 38 138%
Hindi 4 17 325%
Japanese 13 14 8%
Korean 18 38 111%
Kurdish 0 6 600%
Pashto 1 10 900%
Russian 78 122 56%
Somali 1 12 1100%
Spanish 439 344 -22%
Turkish 2 9 350%
Urdu 6 33 450%
Vietnamese 12 42 250%
All Languages 784 1430 82%