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Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, The - Missing Translator
Ok, now all of us Hitchhiker's fans know that in order to translate every known alien language in the universe, you must have a Babel fish in your ear.
Now, in "So Long And Thanks For All The Fish" Arthur Dent returns to Earth and, figuring he'll no longer need it, squeezes the fish out of his ear and keeps it in his fishbowl.
BUT, at the end of "SLATFATF", Arthur goes back into outer space with Ford Prefect, and stays there throughout the next and final book in the series, "Mostly Harmless".
With that in mind, how is Arthur able to communicate with the other aliens he encounters thereafter?
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Rated 4.5/10 (302 ratings) Your opinion?
Special Requirements: "So Long And Thanks For All The Fish" and any other book in the Hitchhiker's series
Contributed By: Chris Dent on 06-20-2000 and Reviewed By: Webmaster
If something isn't right, please Correct this Slip-Up

Balzac writes:
OK, first of all, of COURSE he put in a new babel fish. He also presumably bought a toothbrush, etc. Second, YZPIS takes place before all the other action, as it reveals the REAL fake reason why Earth needs to be destroyed. The fake fake reason is to make way for a new hyperspatial bypass, and the real reason is that a therapist with ties to Infinidim and their new time-altering technology doesn't want the secret of the universe to be discovered. Third, the aliens are speaking English for the same reason that the characters in American movies set in foreign countries speak English: they're not REALLY, but the movie or show depicts it that way to make it easier to follow. They can understand each other via the universal translator, and the similarities are do to the Preservers' genetic meddling. Fourth, you are all a bunch of cretins. :Gets back in his spaceship and rockets off to insult a wood-worker named Sli Pupsboare, the next on his list.
35 of 38 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
DiscoDuck writes:
YZPIS is Young Zaphod Plays It Safe, a novella Douglas Adams wrote, and it is included in the Omnibus edition of HHGG. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, it isn't available anywhere else.
9 of 9 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Lionheart writes:
The babel fish works on the placebo principle. It must. I have one in my ear.
12 of 16 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
vespucci writes:
No I'm sorry - I draw the line here. It's Sci-fi for goodness sake. Do you want them tospeak in alien tongues that you can't understand while you're watching it??? Jeez...
10 of 13 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Heroin writes:
Right... Everybody knows what happenned in the imfamous 26th chapter... By the same means, we can intuitively guess that he's got a new babel fish. Ford gave him his first fish, and he probably wouldn't be hardpressed to get another one.
7 of 8 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
mrt666 writes:
Maybe they all finally learnt to speak Swedish?
8 of 13 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
J.P. writes:
What is 'YZPIS'?
6 of 9 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Kittykatkat writes:
PAH every good hitchhiker would replace their babel fish
5 of 7 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
PondScum writes:
heres some food for thought: Douglas Adams was (RIP) a really smart and witty guy. perhaps he purposely did this slip up and other things like this just to get people thinking, talking, and wondering about his book. first of all, the more people talk, the more people want to read his book, the more money he makes. also, perhaps this is just one of those things that cant be explained and is better left untold (like a lot of the rest of the book). if everything single weird/stupid/confusing tidbit in the book were explained, the book would be rather boring indeed.
5 of 9 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
blackmage_288 writes:
YZPIS is available also in a collection of Douglas Adam's unfinished works called "The Salmon Of Doubt". This book also has some stories about Adams and his childhood.
1 of 1 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Rissa writes:
Ford, penniless hitchhiker with naught but a towel, is nevertheless able to produce a spare Babel fish for Arthur at a moment's notice at the start of HHGG. Surely someone else would be able to lend him one after he lost that one?
1 of 1 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Weston writes:
It is fully explained in the radio drama of "So Long" after Arthur and Fenchurch see Wanko the Sane, they return to London as Arthur says he needs to get something. Upon returning to his house he finds Ford very drink in his living room. When Fenchurch returns from the store and asks Ford to take them to the ship Arthur gets his fish. I don't know how Fenchurch got along without one though.
0 of 0 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Rockin' Rudy writes:
Who cares if Arthur doesn't get a new Babel fish. Maybe, he gained a natural ability to translate. Who knows? Only Douglas Adams.
2 of 5 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Darkone writes:
Maybe they all spoke English?
2 of 8 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Ode writes:
Well, with each book Arthur becomes more in tune with his surroundings... Maybe his lack of need for a babel fish indicates he has finally become "One with the Universe"
2 of 9 found this helpful. Did you? Yes

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