JadenKale wrote:For those unfamiliar with Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy and the Babel Fish: The Babel Fish is small, yellow, leech-like, and is a universal translator which simultaneously translates from one spoken language to another. When inserted into the ear, its nutrition processes convert sound waves into brain waves, neatly crossing the language divide between any species you should happen to meet whilst traveling in space.
That's a little bit off. The Babel Fish feeds off brainwave energy; it doesn't deal with the sound at all. It then excretes telepathically a matrix of the thoughts that it ingested—basically acting as a transponder of sorts. When, with one in your ear, you hear someone speak, you subconsciously associate the sound of their voice with the relevant thoughts from the excreted matrix—which include the speaker's own perception of the sounds that they're making and what they mean. So you hear their language, but comprehend it as if you know it as well as they do.
Adams sure knew how to write a universe. :D