Wanted: A Few Good Translators

According to this article, the government is in need ofa few (or few hundred) translators of Arabic, Farsi, and Pashto. Here’s an excerpt:

The government is looking for linguists who can decipher both classified and sensitive material, said Everette Jordan, director of the National Virtual Translation Center. “The work we have right now we measure by the truckload. That’s why we need all the help we can get,” Jordan said during an address at the American Translators Association’s annual conference.

You get what you pay for (or don’t pay for)

A major reason why there is such a shortage of qualified workers is because the government pays so little. Right now they’re promising contract workers between $24 and $38 per hour. Experts in Arabic translation can earn far more by focusing their energies on the for-profit sector, where they don’t have to go through the cumbersome background check and polygraph. If the government is serious about getting these truckloads of materials translated, they’re going to have budget accordingly.

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