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1.
The Babel fish is small yellow and leech-like, 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 unconscious thought frequencies with nerve signals picked up from the speech centres of the brain which has supplied them.

The practical upshot of 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.

Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.

The argument goes something like this: "I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."

"But," says Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves that you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED."

"Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly disappears in a puff of logic.

"Oh, that was easy," says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is whte and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.

Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo's kidneys, but that did not stop Oolon Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the central theme of his best selling book 'Well That About Wraps It Up For God'.

Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different race and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.
"Ford..."
"Yes?"
"What's this fish doing in my ear?!"
by Douglas Adams' Ghost February 17, 2005
230 23
 
2.
(1) This fish insterted into the ear to obtain multi-lingual powers in the highly acclaimed book "The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy"
(2) Undoubtably the best automatic language studies homework machine ever invented
That assignment will only take me 5 minutes, i'll just babelfish it!
by NewName October 22, 2003
88 12
 
3.
A translation tool.

Originates from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series written by the late Douglas Adams. A babel fish is stuck in your ear and feeds off of other people's neural patterns, excreting the translated thoughts into your brain.
Stick this babel fish in your ear.

Use babel fish to translate.
by Sonnybobiche January 27, 2004
86 25
 
4.
The best translator possible indeed. Take a look as I translate the expression "fuck you" back and forth from English to French.
"Fuck you"
English to French
"Va te faire foutre" (Fair enough. It's right.)
French to English
"Get stuffed" (I'm sorry?)
English to French
Obtenez bourré (The previous was meant as in "Go get yourself stuffed." This... thing here says something in the lines of: "Receive stuffed," which doesn't really make sense.)
French to English
Obtain stuffed

There you are. Babelfish tells you that another way of telling someone to go fuck him/herself is "obtain stuffed."
by Boris Moskovitz January 30, 2007
58 15
 
5.
To translate a document badly, i.e., translate the individual words in the document with no sense of the overall meaning.
I can't make sense of these instructions at all. They must have just babelfished them from the original Japanese.
by Dafduc June 21, 2005
21 9