Lend Me Your Ears: US Military Turns to Contractor Linguists


Aug 22/13: SOCOM. World Wide Language Resources (WWLR) of Fayetteville, NC received a 5-year, $257.2 million firm-fixed-price contract for linguist and translation support, in support of US Special Operations Command. This contract will be funded incrementally, with $1 million committed immediately.

The contract has 1 base year and 4 more 12-month options. Work will be conducted in multiple locations in the United States and overseas. This contract was competitively procured via FBO.gov, with 7 proposals received. US SOCOM manages the contract (H92222-13-C-0053).

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“Lend me your ears”(click to view full) The US military has come to rely more and more on contractors to provide linguist services to function effectively in non-English speaking regions. The need for these services is particularly acute in the Middle East and Central Asia where US troops are actively engaged. Technically, there are 2 primary types of linguist services: interpreters and translators. Contractors usually offer both services as part of their contracts. This DID FOCUS free sample covers US military linguist services contracts and key events. Linguists: What do we Need? What do we Mean? Terrible Terps Can Leave You Tango Uniform Don’t let thishappen to you… An indication of what could go wrong with an unskilled or hostile linguist is illustrated in a short documentary video produced by journalist John McHugh of The Guardian newspaper. In the video, a US Army sergeant and an Afghan tribal elder engage in a conversation about Taliban rocket attacks. The US interpreter incorrectly conveys the tribal leader’s response to a question about the security in the area. The elder says that there is no security in the village and that is a problem. The interpreter tells the sergeant that the elder says […]

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