Monday, August 23, 2010

"I Speak Jive" (Hire Me)

It only took 30 years for what had been a cheap laugh in the 1980 farce Airplane! to become a deadpan contracting action. Yes, the U.S. government is currently soliciting for contract interpreters of Ebonics.

According to The Smoking Gun:

The Department of Justice is seeking to hire linguists fluent in Ebonics to help monitor, translate, and transcribe the secretly recorded conversations of subjects of narcotics investigations, according to federal records.

A maximum of nine Ebonics experts will work with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Atlanta field division, where the linguists, after obtaining a “DEA Sensitive” security clearance, will help investigators decipher the results of “telephonic monitoring of court ordered nonconsensual intercepts, consensual listening devices, and other media”

Can a new Rosetta Stone series be far behind?


Anonymous said...

It's really hard to believe that the DEA is having trouble interpreting street slang. Is there a division for Latino "Ebonics" or does it just apply to severely melanin infected drug dealers in the ATL? What's next, a PHDEb? Why look at it as a language rather than a "complex" code system? Don't we have a lot of imprisoned gang members/ former gang members that might be willing to help... for a price?

TSB said...

Exactly. How hard could it be to understand these conversations? Suburban white kids seem to have no trouble understanding rappers.

Maybe the Justice Department actually wants to use 'qualified linguists' to explain intercepted conversations to middle class jurors who have never heard of Snoop Doggy Dog?