Stick This Fish in Your Ear

Posted on April 27, 2006

The popular Babel Fish translation tool now has a home on Yahoo. Previously, Babel Fish was found here on AltaVista. Yahoo announced Yahoo Babel Fish on the Yahoo Search Blog.

Today Babel Fish is hanging his shingle here at Yahoo!, debuting Yahoo! Babel Fish across our properties worldwide. For those of you new to Babel Fish, you can visit babelfish.yahoo.com and translate text or web pages across your choice of 38 language pairs, such as English => Korean, Dutch => French, and Greek => English.
Yahoo is also providing code you can use to add Babel Fish to your blog so your readers can quickly translate your blog or blog entries into one of twelve languages. We have added Babel Fish to our list of blog add-ons. Yahoo didn't mention it today but the Babel Fish name comes from the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book by Douglas Adams. The Wikipedia entry provides this excerpt from the book which explains what the Babel fish does:
The Babel fish is small, yellow and leechlike, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy received not from its own carrier but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix formed by combining the conscious thought frequencies with nerve signals picked up from the speech centers of the brain which has supplied them. The practical upshot of all this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.
If only the Babel fish were real and we could stick a little fish in our ear and understand everyone.


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