Languages Spoken in the Star Wars Universe

Use the Force to learn them all, young padawan.

Languages Spoken in the Star Wars Universe

Galactic greetings, young Padawans! The Star Wars universe has been fascinating Earthlings for decades with its quirky characters, captivating storylines and unique languages. The galaxy far, far away wouldn’t be the same without the growls of Wookiees or the beeps and whistles of droids. Star Wars languages add a special kind of substance and humor to the universe, making us love it even more! So let’s explore the enchanting realm of interstellar communication by looking over the languages spoken in the Star Wars universe.


Buckle up, grab your lightsaber and make sure the Force is strong with you. Throughout our galactic journey, we’ll make several stops:

That being said, let’s hit the road with some of the most widely spoken Star Wars languages.

Galactic Basic: the most widely spoken Star Wars language

Galactic Basic is the equivalent of English in the Star Wars Universe. Also known as Galactic Basic Standard, Galactic Standard, or just Basic, this language is the lingua franca* of the galaxy.

To avoid confusion, let’s put it straight: Galatic Basic is English. The only difference is that Galactic Basic has its own writing system called Aurebesh.

Being the most widely spoken Star Wars language, it’s no surprise that humans and many other species in the galaxy speak Galactic Basic.

*As you may know, a lingua franca is a language used for communication between groups of people who speak different languages

Aurebesh: the Star Wars alphabet

Aurebesh is the primary writing system of the galaxy. Often seen on displays, signs and other in-universe text, Aurebesh consists of 26 letters that correspond exactly to the English alphabet. Its name is a combination of its first two letters: aurek and besh.

Although Aurebesh first appeared in the Star Wars films, it has since gained popularity as a key component of the franchise’s extended universe. It can be found in a wide range of media, including books, comics, video games, and various merchandise items.

Huttese: the language of the Hutt Cartel and beyond

Huttese is the native tongue of the Hutts, a race of sizable, slug-like beings infamous for their control over the sprawling criminal empire known as the Hutt Cartel. The language has made appearances in numerous Star Wars films, particularly in scenes featuring the infamous crime lord Jabba the Hutt.

To create Huttese, sound designer Ben Burtt drew inspiration from Quechua, an indigenous language spoken in the Andean region of South America. Huttese is not an exact replica of Quechua, but its creation process is quite fascinating. Ben Burtt had voice actor Larry Ward listen to recordings of the actual language, enabling him to improvise an on-screen language for characters such as Jabba and Greedo.

Though not as fully developed as some other fictional languages, Huttese boasts a unique vocabulary and grammatical framework.

Shyriiwook: the guttural tongue of the Wookiees

Shyriiwook, also known as Wookieespeak, is the language of Chewbacca and other Wookiees. Shyriiwook is characterized by its distinctive vocalizations, which largely include growls, roars, and moans.

While individuals from other species (such as Chewie’s companion, Han Solo) can comprehend Shyriiwook, it is incredibly challenging, if not impossible, for non-Wookiees to speak the language.

'Star Wars language' by Craig Adderley©

The same as Huttese, Shyriiwook was created by sound designer Ben Burtt from walrus, camel, bear, and badger recordings from his personal sound library. A notable component of the sounds came from an American black bear residing in Happy Hollow Park & Zoo in San Jose, California. By mixing these sounds in varying proportions, a range of distinct roars was created.

Droidspeak: the beeps and whistles of the galaxy’s mechanical beings

Droidspeak, also known as Binary or Astromech Binary, is the communication language employed by astromech droids, like the iconic R2-D2 and BB-8. Droidspeak consists of a series of electronic beeps, whistles, and other synthesized sounds that convey information and emotions. Although droidspeak is generally unintelligible to the viewing audience, it appears to be understood by characters such as Luke Skywalker.

This language is another creation of sound designer Ben Burtt who crafted R2-D2’s dialogue in the original Star Wars using an ARP 2600 analog synthesizer and processing his own voice through additional effects. In The Force Awakens, BB-8’s dialogue was produced by altering the voices of Bill Hader and Ben Schwartz using a talkbox connected to a sound effects app on an iPad.

Mando’a: the mysterious language of the Mandalorian

Mando’a is the native language of the Mandalorian people from the planet Mandalore. The language is deeply tied to the Mandalorian culture, which is characterized by its martial traditions, unique armor, and sense of loyalty and family.

Author Karen Traviss created Mando’a for the Star Wars Republic Commando book series. Since then, the language has appeared in various Star Wars media, including the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the critically acclaimed live-action series The Mandalorian, starring Pedro Pascal.

Mando’s language is a mainly spoken, agglutinative language without grammatical gender for nouns and pronouns. It typically uses an active voice with three grammatical tenses (present, past, and future), though speakers mostly use the present tense. As mentioned in Karen Traviss’s novels Order 66 and 501st, there is a mutually intelligible dialect called “Concordian” spoken on the planet Concord Dawn.

'Mandalorian language' by Din Djarin©

For example, the word for armor in Mando’a is Beskar’gam.

Twi’leki: The melodic language also known as Ryl

Twi’leki, also known as Ryl, is the language spoken by the Twi’leks, a species of humanoid creatures with distinctive head-tails called lekku. Twi’leks hail from the planet Ryloth and can be found in various roles throughout the galaxy, including politicians, criminals, and entertainers.

Essentially, Twi’leki includes both verbal sounds and precise lekku movements. The sign language used by Twi’leks enabled them to convey complete ideas without uttering a single word. For example, lifting the tip of one’s right lek signifies “Hello!”, while lowering the tip of one’s left lek indicates “Goodbye!”.

The majority of Twi’leks in the galactic community are also proficient in Basic or Huttese, but they typically use these languages when not interacting with their own species.

The extended list of Star Wars languages

The Star Wars universe has introduced us to over 70 languages so far. However, if we take into consideration 3CPO’s ability to be fluent in “over six million forms of communication”, there’s still more to be discovered.

Here’s the extended list of Star Wars languages we were introduced to so far:

  1. Aqualish
  2. Binary
  3. Bocce
  4. Bothese
  5. Catharese
  6. Cheunh
  7. Dathomiri
  8. Dosh
  9. Dug
  10. Durese
  11. Ewokese
  12. Galactic Basic (or Basic)
  13. Gamorrean
  14. Geonosian
  15. Gungan Basic
  16. Hapan
  17. High Galactic
  18. Huttese
  19. Ithorese
  20. Jawaese
  21. Kaleesh
  22. Kaminoan
  23. Kel Dor
  24. Kenari
  25. Mando’a (Mandalorian)
  26. Mon Calamarian
  27. Neimoidian (Pak Pak)
  28. Olys Corellisi (Old Corellian)
  29. Quarrenese
  30. Rodese
  31. Rodian
  32. Ryl
  33. Sallustese
  34. Shyriiwook
  35. Sith language
  36. Snivvian
  37. Sy Bisti
  38. Tarc
  39. Taung
  40. Thykarann
  41. Togruti
  42. Toydarian
  43. Trandoshan
  44. Tusken
  45. Twi’leki
  46. Ubese
  47. Ugnaught
  48. Weequay
  49. Whiphid
  50. Yuuzhan Vong

Patience you had to go through this entire list, my young Padawan. As a reward, here are answers to some of the most popular questions about the Star Wars languages.


How were the Star Wars languages created?

The creation of languages in the Star Wars universe is primarily attributed to sound designers who draw inspiration from real languages or the world around us to create the new languages. However, many of the languages featured in the saga result from the collaborative efforts of writers, sound designers, and language consultants.

While languages like Huttese and Ewokese are based on real-life languages like Quechua and Kalmyk, other Star Wars languages are inspired by mere animal sounds. The creation process includes mixing and adapting the sounds until they match what the creators envisioned.

Are there any real-life languages that inspired the Star Wars languages?

Yes, real-life languages like Finnish, Quechua, Kalmyk, Haya, Xhosa, Indonesian and Tibetan all served as inspiration for different Star Wars languages.

Some of the Star Wars languages inspired by real-life languages are Huttese, Sullustese, Ewokese, and Geonosian.

Can I learn a Star Wars language?

Yes, you can learn a Star Wars language, but the extent of your learning will depend on the language’s level of development. Some languages such as Huttese or Mando’a have more comprehensive vocabularies and grammatical structures, making them easier to study.

However, most Star Wars languages are not as fully developed as real-world languages or other fictional languages like Klingon (from Star Trek) or Dothraki (from Game of Thrones). Consequently, attaining fluency or participating in complex conversations might be challenging. Nevertheless, learning a Star Wars language can be an enjoyable and immersive way to immerse yourself in the franchise and connect with fellow fans.

How important are Star Wars languages to the overall universe?

Star Wars languages play a major role in enriching the universe and making it more believable. By creating diverse and unique languages for every species, the creators of Star Wars crafted a more intricate galaxy. These languages contribute to the world-building process and help convey the immensity of the Star Wars universe, which spans numerous planets, each with its distinct inhabitants and customs.

While not every Star Wars language is fully developed, even the presence of distinct speech patterns and sounds adds depth and authenticity to the characters and their interactions.

How many languages are there in Star Wars?

So far, we’ve been introduced to over 70 languages in the Star Wars universe. However, considering 3CPO’s affirmation that he’s “fluent in over six million forms of communication”, we figure there are still more languages to be discovered. We’ll have to keep an eye on future movie and series releases to find out.

That’s all for now. Keep in mind that you don’t need to wait for Star Wars Day (May 4th) to appreciate all things Star Wars. May the Force be with you!

From 0 to fluent Jedi Master fast

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Diana Lăpușneanu - Linguist at Mondly Blog

Diana is a Linguist at Mondly by Pearson. Learning English as a second language early on fueled her lifelong passion for language learning, leading her to pursue a diverse array of languages as a hobby alongside her academic endeavors. With a Master’s Degree in advertising and a fascination for historical linguistics, she brings a unique perspective to her role, making language learning fun for readers worldwide.

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