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The DEA Is Looking For “Ebonics Translators,” Dylan Ratigan Helps With Ebonics Translation Test

Do you want to see two respected journalists argue over the definition of “bling bling?” If so, then you’re in luck! Earlier this week, the truly strange story that the DEA was actively looking to hire nine “Ebonics translators” hit the headlines. Dylan Ratigan brought on the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart, who had written about the subject previously, to discuss the serious implications of this like whether or not Ebonics is an actual language. Don’t worry, though. That serious talk only lasted like half a second. Then it was time for what we were all waiting for: Ebonics Translating Test!

Yes, it was as wonderfully train wreck-esque as you’d imagine two well-educated, grown men describing what “frontin'” means would be. And, really, with a story this bizarre, what else can you expect? I’m not surprised that knowledge of street slang is an incredibly important part of DEA work but, if audiences of The Wire can suss out most Baltimore drug euphemisms in a couple of episodes, could it really be that hard to find someone capable of translating?

Anyway, kudos to Capehart who gets a respectable score on the test (although I could have gotten most of them and I’m about as far from “the street” as an airplane). And kudos to both he and Ratigan for linking to one of the funniest movie scenes ever.

Watch the MSNBC segment below:

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