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Military Hiring Linguists To Translate Military Instructions


MONTEREY, Calif. — The Defense Language Institute is teaching its first class of linguists to understand military instructions and regulations, sources report.

“This is the first time we’ve created a formal course to teach native English speakers how to read and write Regulation,” said school commander, Col. Phil Deppert. “It may be the toughest challenge we’ve ever faced. Translating Regulation has always been an art, not a science.”

The DLI has stepped up recruitment to meet their Regulation speaker quotas,and so far have signed dozens of the hugest nerds.

“I’ve been studying this language for eighteen years and I still struggle with it,” 1st Sgt. Antwone Motteux, the class’ lead instructor, said. “We’re looking at a language with no logical consistency, no steady rules, and irrational changes every week. Our students seem to be getting the hang of it though.”

Motteux was busy grading his students first essay. The assignment was to write ‘Hello’ in Regulation using less than twenty pages. “The students really struggled with this one,” Motteux said. “It’s a trick question. They should know it’s impossible.”

According to Motteux, this course has a much higher than average paperwork load. “It’s a challenge,” he said, “because the forms themselves are written in Regulation.”

And the forms aren’t always easy. In the case of the summary form at the end of the class, the instructions command the teacher, “Provide the number of students/teams who completed training. Limit this numeric field to 9999.9 percent.”

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  1. My favorite is the A.F. performance report and award system. We now have to abbreviate everything in the reports. Of course no one understands the abbreviations so we have an official abbreviation book that is many, many pages long. You cannot abbreviate if it isn’t in the book or you put in a footnote. This is all to save time reading and writing reports. And just to make sure this is all useful 10 yrs. down the road, when people are looking at your records, every 6 months or so they update the abbreviation book and delete unused items and add new. Pretty much in 10 years no one will be exactly sure what was written back then or what it might have meant. Maybe we should just go back to cave drawings.

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