Speak Ebonics? The Government May Have a Job For You.

Posted on August 24, 2010

I couldn’t quite believe it when I read the story’s headline, but it’s true.

From the Washington Times:

ATLANTA | Federal agents are seeking to hire Ebonics translators to help interpret wiretapped conversations involving targets of undercover drug investigations.

The Drug Enforcement Administration recently sent memos asking companies that provide translation services to help it find nine translators in the Southeast who are fluent in Ebonics, special agent Michael Sanders said Monday.

Some DEA agents already help translate Ebonics, Mr. Sanders said, though he said he wasn’t sure if the agency has ever hired outside Ebonics experts as contractors.

“They saw a need for this in a couple of their investigations,” he said. “And when you see a need — it may not be needed now — but we want the contractors to provide us with nine people just in case.”

All I can say is I’m a bit stunned and surprised because I didn’t think Ebonics was a language. But, even if it isn’t, I guess it’s more widespread than I imagined.   Read the whole story by clicking on the Washington Times link above.