SpeechTrans Wristband Watch : A small step towards the Babel Fish

- Aug 25, 2017 -

In Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," there's a way to understand anything that is said to you in any language; all you have to do is stick a fish in your ear ...


The Babel Fish is small, yellow, leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy absorbing all unconscious frequencies and then excreting, telepathically, a matrix formed from the conscious frequencies and nerve signals picked up from the speech centres of the brain. The practical upshot of which is, that if you stick one in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. The speech you hear decodes the brainwave matrix. ... the poor Babel Fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different cultures and races, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.


Alas, as you may have noticed, such a thing as the Babel Fish doesn't exist (at least, out here on the western spiral arm of the Milky Way, it doesn't) and so many of us have to struggle when we go abroad ...


As for myself, outside of English, I have minimal language skills. My French is “très mauvais” and my Latin is as good as “non esse.” Thus, when I travel I’m at the mercy of my hosts, the kindness of the locals, or the clumsiness of a phrase book to just buy a coffee (though speaking loudly, in English, and savagely pointing does occasionally work). But there is hope, for I have seen the future and it looks like a bracelet …

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