Representatives of a Draper company are headed to Paris for the launch of the World Digital Library, a site built by a global consortium of institutions that aims to make available significant historical and cultural materials to anyone with an Internet connection.
Lingotek was contracted by the Library of Congress to translate information into various languages that will be available when the project launches after nearly four years of work.
The library is going public on Tuesday at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris, with two Lingotek officials participating.
"The hope and the goal is, number one, to promote the project and describe how it's done," said Robert Vandenberg, Lingotek president. "And number two, connect to the Russian National Library and the library of Egypt and talk about what our capacity is and how that might fit with what they are doing."
Lingotek uses an online software system that in essence learns from previous translations. That information is used to assist a translator in subsequent projects. Because the system is delivered over the Web, Lingotek employs translators from around the globe working from their home countries.
In this phase of the World Digital Library, the Utah company took information describing items from the Library of Congress and other collections, and translated it into English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
The World Digital Library was proposed in 2005 by James H. Billington, the librarian of Congress. "It occurred to him that this would make a good project, where the great national libraries of the world could get together and offer their content to people free of charge," said Jennifer Gavin, spokeswoman for the Library of Congress.
Google provided the initial $3 million to fund the project. The content of the World Digital Library will continue to grow, as will the number of languages, Gavin said.
Vandenberg said Lingotek hopes to help with more translations as new libraries are brought in as participants.
Lingotek has 20 full-time employees in Draper. It contracts with U.S. government agencies for translation services, as well as companies such as eBay, Intermountain Healthcare, Allegiance and Tahitian Noni.
What » A Web site with important documents and information from around the world.
Who » Supplied by libraries and other institutions.
When » Site goes live Tuesday.