When I first arrived on Moya, the DRDs injected me with a syringe full of Translator Microbes.
The explanation I got from His Rectal Eminence Rygel was that "translator microbes colonize
at the base of the brain and allow us to understand each other."
Considering Rygel's winning personality, sometimes I wish the
translator microbes weren't so good at their job.
The tiny tyrant went on to point out that everyone is injected with the
microbes at birth. Everyone except primitive lifeforms like me, that
is. You could think of the microbes as a universal vaccine against
language barriers — a sort of fluency booster shot.
As good as the little guys are, though, they don't always catch
everything. Sometimes words slip through that are untranslatable.
Things like proper names, unique customs, and swear words. (Especially swear words!)
For instance, when D'Argo
heats up I'm sure he has a mouth like a drunken sailor. But my microbes
never manage to translate his actual words. All I hear are growls,
grunts, and a few random syllables. It has the unintended effect of
turning all my conversations PG-13, as if I've got my own built-in
V-chip. Some days, I feel like I've landed in Mister Rogers' Galaxy.
When it comes right down to it, though, these little germs are the only
thing holding us together. It's hard enough for me to roll my R's in
Spanish; I'm not sure I even have the right number of vocal chords to
speak Luxan. If it weren't for that injection, I'd probably still be trying to learn how to say "J.C. phone home" in Sebacean.
JOURNEY LOG REFERENCES
Self-Inflicted Wounds, Part 1: Could'a, Would'a, Should'a
STARBURST TO ANY NOTE