Marcus fidgeted and adjusted his tie. He wasn’t ready for this at all. He was a scientist, not a speaker. He felt uncomfortable in the suit—why couldn’t he just wear a labcoat? The entire audience was full of scientists anyway. Oh right, the cameras. Crap. He heard his cue, took a deep breath, and walked up onto the stage. He swallowed as he approached the podium, adjusted the microphone, and looked around the auditorium, once again in awe of the diversity he saw there. Smiling, he began his speech:
“ Ladies and gentlemen: I congratulate you.” He paused as the audience erupted in cheers and applause. “This project has been a truly international effort—our team has representatives from nearly every nation, ethnic background, and walk of life. But it’s only appropriate, since the technology we’ve created will change the entire world. Everyone is going to benefit from this amazing invention.” Applause. He couldn’t help but notice the camera lens, a painful reminder that this speech was even now being translated into more languages than he could imagine, watched intently and understood perfectly by millions worldwide. Better not screw up. “Friends, we have created a technology that’s impact is even greater than that of the telegraph, cellular phone, or world wide web. Everyone on earth can benefit from the Universal Translator. And we’re going to do it as a family. No one gets left out, and we all have the opportunity to explore and learn things that our ancestors could only imagine. This is only the beginning, because with this new technology, all of us can work together to understand the universe. We’ve already seen what the mere hundreds of us here in this room can do. Now imagine what discoveries await with the entire human race participating.” Thunderous applause. He waited for the cheers to die down. This was the exciting part. This was the reason that he volunteered to speak.
“Everyone told us that this was impossible, that there was no way that we could ever hope to succeed. Well, now, my friends, the world is watching; we’ve proven them wrong. This victory for science belongs to all of us. Thank you for all of your monumental efforts.” More cheers. Everyone leaned forward expectantly. This was the moment they’d all been waiting for. Sweat broke out on his forehead. “Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the accumulation of all of our efforts: the Universal Translator!” Amidst tumultuous applause, covered in sweat, knees shaking in anticipation, he pulled the shining metallic handle. And then, as the entire planet held its breath, the universe danced around it.
Translate: to bear, carry, or move from one place, position, etc., to another; transfer.
Mechanics. to cause (a body) to move without rotation or angular displacement; subject to translation.