August 24th, 2010
01:19 PM ET

DEA wants to hire Ebonics translators

Wanted by the Drug Enforcement Administration: Ebonics translators.

It might sound like a punch line, as "Ebonics" - the common name for what linguists call African-American English - has long been the butt of jokes, as well as the subject of controversy.

But the agency is serious about needing nine people to translate conversations picked up on wiretaps during investigations, Special Agent
Michael Sanders said Tuesday. A solicitation was sent to contractors as part of a request to companies to provide hundreds of translators in 114 languages.

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