Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

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Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby Freakzilla » 26 Aug 2010 12:15

Ebonics interpreters are needed to help interpret wiretapped drug suspects, according to a memo sent by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

http://www.csmonitor.com/From-the-news- ... s-says-DEA

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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.

Ebonics, which is also known as African American Vernacular English, has been described by the psychologist who coined the term as the combination of English vocabulary with African language structure.

Some DEA agents already help translate Ebonics, Sanders said. But he said 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."

The DEA's decision, first reported by The Smoking Gun, evokes memories of the debate sparked in 1996 when the Oakland, California, school board suggested that black English was a separate language. Although the board later dropped the suggestion amid criticism, it set off a national discussion over whether Ebonics is a language, a dialect or neither.

The search for translators covers a wide swath of the Southeast, including offices in Atlanta, Washington, New Orleans, Miami and the Caribbean, said Sanders. He said he's uncertain why other regions aren't hiring Ebonics translators, but said there are ongoing investigations in the Southeast that need dedicated Ebonics translators.

Linguists said Ebonics can be trickier than it seems, partly because the vocabulary evolves so quickly.

"A lot of times people think you're just dealing with a few slang words, and that you can finesse your way around it," said John Rickford, a Stanford University linguistics professor. "And it's not — it's a big vocabulary. You'll have some significant differences" from English.

Critics worry that the DEA's actions could set a precedent.

"Hiring translators for languages that are of questionable merit to begin with is just going in the wrong direction," said Aloysius Hogan, the government relations director of English First, a national lobbying group that promotes the use of English.

"I'm not aware of Ebonics training schools or tests. I don't know how they'd establish that someone speaks Ebonics," he said. "I support the concept of pursuing drug dealers if they're using code words, but this is definitely going in the wrong direction."

H. Samy Alim, a Stanford linguistics professor who specializes in black language and hip-hop culture, said he thought the hiring effort was a joke when he first heard about it, but that it highlights a serious issue.

"It seems ironic that schools that are serving and educating black children have not recognized the legitimacy of this language. Yet the authorities and the police are recognizing that this is a language that they don't understand," he said. "It really tells us a lot about where we are socially in terms of recognizing African-American speech."

Rickford said that hiring Ebonics experts could come in handy for the DEA, but he said it's hard to determine whether a prospective employee can speak it well enough to translate since there are no standardized tests. He said the ideal candidate would be a native speaker who also has had some linguistics training.

Finding the right translators could be the difference between a successful investigation or a failed one, said Sanders. While he said many listeners can get the gist of what Ebonics speakers are saying, it could take an expert to define it in court.

"You can maybe get a general idea of what they're saying, but you have to understand that this has to hold up in court," he said. "You need someone to say, 'I know what they mean when they say 'ballin' or 'pinching pennies.'"
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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby merkin muffley » 26 Aug 2010 13:27

Freakzilla wrote:I don't know how they'd establish that someone speaks Ebonics," he said. "I support the concept of pursuing drug dealers if they're using code words, but this is definitely going in the wrong direction."


:doh: Duuuhhh. "We need to bring someone in here to teach us what 'skeet' is." :roll:
"I must admit, you have an astonishingly good idea there, Doctor...."

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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby D Pope » 26 Aug 2010 13:34

Tragic. Utterly tragic.
And leave it to the experts to COMPETELY misunderstand it all! :angry-banghead:
Leto II is gone for good, except for OM. The "pearl" was just that; a miniscule portion of what Leto was, and not a compressed version of the whole. The pearl that the worms have do not make them Leto, or in any way similar to him.
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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby SandRider » 26 Aug 2010 15:22

nB4 "Excuse me, stewardess, I speak jive."
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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby D Pope » 26 Aug 2010 15:39

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Leto II is gone for good, except for OM. The "pearl" was just that; a miniscule portion of what Leto was, and not a compressed version of the whole. The pearl that the worms have do not make them Leto, or in any way similar to him.
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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 26 Aug 2010 16:16

Seems dumb, but realistically I don't see why it's a big deal. If someone was doing investigations out on the east coast of Canada they'd probably need a translator too, doesn't mean it's recognising it as a different language. What else are they supposed to do, hang out in the hood until they learn it for themselves?

Sorry, I don't grasp the issue here, who gives a shit? Someone is worried that the police admitting that some parts of the country speak what is practically a different language is somehow worse than them being unable to do their jobs because people would rather just pretend that English is the same everywhere you go?

Thoroughly confused. Thoroughly.
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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby SandRider » 26 Aug 2010 17:07

the issue is that the DEA need a fucking English expert to proof their press statements ...

"Ebonics" is an American-English dialect, but, as a dialect doesn't need a "translator" -
I'm waffling of the appropriateness "interpreters" - when I really get all Southerned-Up,
furrinners might need an interpreter ...

BTW, I really fucked-up my grand-daughters and a bunch of the other young kids
at the reunion with my in-depth knowledge and correct usage of the internet vernacular ...
I had them in the palm of my hands on the back porch when I started mocking "them twitterin'
things" and by the end of the weekend, they were all talking about "twits" .... so, hot damn,
I guess I'm cool again ... to the junior high set, anyway ... (I also learned that the loose skin
on your elbow is called your "weenus" ...)

I'll disagree with the quoted expert - "Ebonics" is just an evolving set of slang words and phrases,
and phrase construction, with some (by now) fairly standard conventions ... but the slang arises
and disappears too quickly to merit much study, except for the current set, as in the case here,
where the po-po be takin camera shots and ain't got shit ...

so .... no, the DEA doesn't need an "Ebonics Interpreter"; just get Justin Timberlake to tell you
what the fuck them momo's be flitchin' ...
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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 26 Aug 2010 17:24

:lol: Ok, so they don't need an interpreter, they just need Timberlake to interpret, but he'll be careful not to be an interpreter... :wink:
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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby SandChigger » 27 Aug 2010 03:03

The fact that they're even using the asinine term "Ebonics" in the first place shows how FUCKED IN THE HEAD they are before they even get started. :roll:

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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby D Pope » 27 Aug 2010 09:44

:text-yeahthat:
Dialects and colloquialisms are alive and well, thriving all over. Perhaps they're not as strong as they were before TV practically became a code requirement. Lending a name to stupidity for fear of the race card diminishes us all.
I'm sure the DEA could use a translator, that doesn't mean that ignorance is another nation.
Leto II is gone for good, except for OM. The "pearl" was just that; a miniscule portion of what Leto was, and not a compressed version of the whole. The pearl that the worms have do not make them Leto, or in any way similar to him.
-Omphalos

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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby Freakzilla » 27 Aug 2010 09:51

D Pope wrote:...that doesn't mean that ignorance is another nation.


I'm willing to give it a try. :P
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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby D Pope » 27 Aug 2010 10:20

The Golgafrincham Solution? :P
Leto II is gone for good, except for OM. The "pearl" was just that; a miniscule portion of what Leto was, and not a compressed version of the whole. The pearl that the worms have do not make them Leto, or in any way similar to him.
-Omphalos

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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby Freakzilla » 27 Aug 2010 10:42

I think we may have discussed this before somewhere...

But in Julian May's Galactic Milieu series, after the Intervention, all the races/ethnicities were given their own planets to encourage their cultures to thrive.

Not a bad idea IMO.
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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby D Pope » 27 Aug 2010 10:58

You're a bolder man than I am.

I swing from nearly boundless human potential to the irredeemably wasted. I'll leave it to your imagination to relate the position of that pendulum to my proximity to the city.

Has anyone been to our nations capitol lately?
Leto II is gone for good, except for OM. The "pearl" was just that; a miniscule portion of what Leto was, and not a compressed version of the whole. The pearl that the worms have do not make them Leto, or in any way similar to him.
-Omphalos

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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 27 Aug 2010 15:15

Freakzilla wrote:I think we may have discussed this before somewhere...

But in Julian May's Galactic Milieu series, after the Intervention, all the races/ethnicities were given their own planets to encourage their cultures to thrive.

Not a bad idea IMO.


Terrible idea, probably the worst possible idea. No matter how you divide people they will divide themselves again and again, people don't get along or not just due to ethnicity, they'll always find something to hate about eachother, religion, politics, nationality, hair colour, sexuality.

Absolutely retarded. The solution to these issues is mxing shit up and time, eventually people will mostly get over the whole "race" thing and pick something new to hate everyone else over, then we can all complain about that. :wink:
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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 27 Aug 2010 15:17

SandChigger wrote:The fact that they're even using the asinine term "Ebonics" in the first place shows how FUCKED IN THE HEAD they are before they even get started. :roll:


D Pope wrote::text-yeahthat:
Dialects and colloquialisms are alive and well, thriving all over. Perhaps they're not as strong as they were before TV practically became a code requirement. Lending a name to stupidity for fear of the race card diminishes us all.
I'm sure the DEA could use a translator, that doesn't mean that ignorance is another nation.


Ok now these posts I understand and agree with now that this is pointed out. Some of this is all a little foreign to me, we don't have "ebonics" up here (aside from dumbass kids that watch too much music TV :D ).

Now I see the stupidity in this wasn't the need for a translator.
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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby lotek » 27 Aug 2010 15:44

Spice is the worm's gonads.

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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby SandRider » 27 Aug 2010 18:12

I guess I'd be more concerned about the surburban whitebreads in the DEA - if they can't keep up with
evolving "street" language, maybe they don't know anything about "street" crime ... and what about all
their snitches ? I can't see hiring an Ebonics "expert" at like, what, 100K+ a year and government
benefits when all you gotta do is put MC Saggy & El Diablo Dan in a room with the tapes and have them
"interpret" or do some time ....

it must be budget-lobbying time in DC again ....


and:
D Pope: Has anyone been to our nations capitol lately?


meh. Richmond's just been one big bland strip mall for decades ...
biggest mistake we made was moving the capital from Montgomery to there ...
just to entice the Virginian hold-outs into secession ... fucked up the whole thing,
The Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia ended up pushing back
and forth over the same little strip of land between the two capitals for four years ...

if the capital had been left in Montgomery, the entire strategies of both sides would have been very different;
and the Yankees would've never captured Montgomery - altho they would have shifted to a Gulf Shore
strategy, trying to land as many newly arrived and drafted Irishmen onto the Redneck Riveria as possible ...

BTW, I've got a couple of pieces of paper from the State of Texas, relating to the Workforce and Dept. of
Labor, and the Texas Licensing Board, that list my race as "Non-Hispanic" ... I took those up to Arkansas
and got all kind of drunken redneck rage riled up on back porches all across Calvert County ...

good times, good times ....
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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby Freakzilla » 27 Aug 2010 22:34

Come to downtown Atlanta sometime. :D
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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby Omphalos » 28 Aug 2010 00:31

Jezus Krist, this whole fucking ebonics debate belongs in the goddam Politics! forum where I don't ever have to see it again.

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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby Freakzilla » 28 Aug 2010 01:28

Omphalos wrote:Jezus Krist, this whole fucking ebonics debate belongs in the goddam Politics! forum where I don't ever have to see it again.


Where did I put it? :?
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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby SandRider » 28 Aug 2010 01:51

well, it's in POLITICS! now ...

where was it before ?

:think:
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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby Freakzilla » 28 Aug 2010 03:12

SandRider wrote:well, it's in POLITICS! now ...

where was it before ?

:think:


Latest posts? :P
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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby Omphalos » 28 Aug 2010 03:18

Huh. I clicked back and I swore I thought it said Ghafla. Oh well. Ill go back to ignoring this. Sorry for the derail. Continue to be nutty.

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Re: Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Postby SandChigger » 31 Aug 2010 03:11

Sheesh, bossy Ivorics speakers! :roll:


:lol: