Parlez-Vous CIA? Agency Website Speaks 5 Languages - InformationWeek
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3/26/2012
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Parlez-Vous CIA? Agency Website Speaks 5 Languages

CIA.gov now available in Arabic, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Russian.

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The CIA's website has expanded its global reach with five new foreign-language versions that offer a truncated version of the information available on the agency's main Web portal.

CIA.gov is now available in the five languages used at the United Nations: Arabic, French, Spanish, Chinese and Russian, according to the agency. The new foreign-language sites are abbreviated versions of the main CIA site but include a similar look and feel.

People also can use a similar drop-down menu as the one on the left hand side of the main homepage to click to pages of information about the CIA, careers, location of the office and to contact the agency. However, the menus on the foreign-language sites also contain an additional tab about the CIA and its history of counterterrorism activities over the years.

The CIA developed the foreign-language sites to highlight the agency's global reach as well as emphasize the importance of other languages to the agency's work, according to the CIA.

[ The CIA invests in technology that will enable large-format displays for easier analyses. See What CIA Wants In Next-Gen HD Video. ]

Indeed, in January 2010 then-CIA Director Leon Panetta raised the language requirement for promotion to the agency's top ranks, making proficiency in a foreign language necessary to a position in the CIA's Senior Intelligence Service. At the time Panetta said the change was made because language capability "is critical to every aspect of our mission."

The move to stress language proficiency was part of a five-year initiative to strengthen the agency's language capabilities launched the previous May, a strategy current director David Petraeus has continued.

People can access the foreign-language site via links on top of every page on the CIA.gov site except the World Factbook and FOIA Reading Room pages, according to the agency.

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