Is There A Real Droid Language In Star Wars? (Revealed)


Some franchises are a one hit wonder, coming and going never to be seen again. Others like Star Wars, continue to entertain and enthrall viewers for decades. One odd thing found in all Star Wars’s movies, shows, video games, and books are droids speaking to one another in their own language. Thus, many ask:

Is there a real droid language in Star Wars?

In the canonical universe of Star Wars, the droids have their own language called droidspeak, or Binary. Astromechs within Star Wars like R2-D2 and BB-8 use this to communicate with each other. Characters like Luke Skywalker and Rey learned to understand droidspeak to some degree.

Like other fictional languages, does droidspeak have some vocabulary or a type of writing system available to learn in real life? What is droidspeak anyways? How can characters like Anakin Skywalker or Poe Dameron learn to understand droidspeak? I’ll answer all of these pressing questions and more down below!

Do Droids Have A Language In Star Wars?

In the Star Wars “world” or universe, it is mentioned various times how there are a plethora of languages throughout the galaxy. Yet, the vast majority of characters speak the common language known as “Galactic Basic” (we’ll go more into this later), never showing these diverse languages.

Some exceptions would include notable characters and species like Ewoks, Jabba The Hutt, and droids like R2-D2. If you’re not interested in furry teddy bears and giant slugs with an attitude, then what is the language that droids speak?

Droids in Star Wars have a language known as droidspeak, which consists of beeps with different inflections. This language is spoken by all droids, and is only understood by them with few exceptions. Some Droids can speak other languages besides droidspeak, but most exclusively speak it.

Foreign languages in Star Wars are not normally used to show the most civilized of people, whether the uncouth and uneducated of the Ewoks, or cruel “dictators” like Jabba The Hutt who think they are above everyone. Why would droids have their own language then?

Why Do Droids Have Their Own Language?

First and foremost, it is because it’s cool. More seriously, are there some reasons for this within Star Wars?

Droids are servants, and serve practical needs. They are made to do purpose without the help of a person, and this by design makes them autonomous and isolated by nature. If they don’t need to speak to people, they don’t need to speak their language.

Exceptions like C-3PO (a protocol droid), who was made to translate languages, are needed to speak to people and thus speak their language.

Another reason would be that to communicate seamlessly between an artificial intelligence of R2-D2 and a “normal” computer, they would both need to use the same language. This would then have to be a programming language of some sort.

This leads to our next question: what is droidspeak?

What Is Droidspeak In Star Wars?

Hearing R2-D2, BB-8, and other astromech droids speak sounds weird and funny. It comes across as just a bunch of random beeps and whistles said with a sad or excited tone depending on the circumstance. What is droidspeak in Star Wars exactly?

In the Star Wars universe, droidspeak was used by droids to speak to one another, and as a programming language for electronics that did not have artificial intelligence. The language sounds like various beeps and whistles, whose meaning cannot be known by organics without context.

Essentially, droidspeak is like speaking computer code. More math and raw data is involved than mere words.

Much like how coders can understand the complexity of code, so too can individuals like Luke Skywalker learn to understand droids within the fictional universe.

This happens to be a very popular topic for people to discuss: how do people in Star Wars understand droids?

How Do People In Star Wars Understand Droids?

If someone is asking about the droid language, which we now know to be droidspeak, it’s usually always followed by them wondering how Star Wars characters learn to understand it. How do people in Star Wars know what droids are saying?

Characters like Anakin Skywalker and others can understand droidspeak because of having spent extensive amounts of time with droids. By spending time with a particular droid, they can learn to understand it due to its vocal inflections along with the context of the situation.

When watching Star Wars, viewers can understand R2-D2 with the help of one of two things: the vocal pitch and having someone translate for us (C-3PO constantly does this).

Yet, how do characters within movies know what they mean? The answer revolves around two points:

  • Context
  • Pitch

Context

If R2-D2 gets shot at, we don’t need to just hear his famous scream, but the fact he got shot tells us all we need to know. This is the case for all the characters who can understand droids, it largely revolves around the situation they are in.

Pitch

For those characters within the Star Wars universe, the context and the “voice” of the droid speaking matters a lot. How the droids say something is half the battle for Luke or Rey to know what they mean.

If you are interested in more topics about language learning, I have plenty of other articles to choose from!

Is There More Than One Droid Language In Star Wars?

Having talked about droidspeak a lot, could there be other droid languages found within the Star Wars universe? Is there more than one droid language in Star Wars?

The only known language in the Star Wars universe that is used exclusively by droids would be droidspeak, or Binary. Translator droids like C-3PO can speak other languages, but none are distinctly used by droids. There is only one “droid” language in Star Wars.

Droidspeak itself has been said, within the Star Wars lore strictly speaking, to have many different “editions” or versions throughout the tens of thousands of years across the canonical timeline.

Another thing to mention would be how C-3PO, and presumably any other translator or protocol droid, can speak over 6 million languages! Though they are not exclusively droid languages, it is worth putting out that certain droids can speak many different languages.

As is discussed in this article, there are those who are trying to use artificial intelligence to help learn a language in real life. This is not unlike in a way what the purpose of C-3PO is, and why he needs to know so many languages.

Is Droidspeak An Actual Language?

We discussed how droidspeak is real and used in the canonical Star Wars universe, but how about in real life? Is droidspeak an actual language?

Droidspeak is not an actual language, since it has no discernable vocabulary and writing system. Unlike other fictional languages including Klingon or Elvish, droidspeak has no components. Within the fictional universe of Star Wars however, droidspeak exists as much as the force does.

Why bring up other fictional languages? Klingon and Elvish both have actual parts of a language, but droidspeak does not even come close. These languages might all be “made up”, but both Klingon and Elvish resemble something more true.

What is a real language anyways, and why does this not include droidspeak or other fictional languages?

A language must have these two critical factors:

  • culture
    • A culture of a language is the people, beliefs, and traditions that give languages amorous value over time.
  • features
    • This simply refers to the vocabulary, grammar, and writing of a language.

With Klingon and Elvish they at least have the features of a language, albeit imperfect. Droidspeak on the other hand has neither a culture nor features.

In the end none of these languages are real since they lack the vital aspect of a language: culture. And, what is culture?

The people and their own beliefs that speak a language, and that is something none of these languages will ever possess, in reality anyway.

Can You Actually Learn Droidspeak In Real Life?

Despite droidspeak not being a real language in the traditional sense, could there still be enough of it to learn? Can you actually learn droidspeak in real life?

You can not learn droidspeak in real life, primarily since it does not actually exist. The droidspeak found with the movies, shows, video Games, and books of Star Wars are incoherent beeps and whistles made to sound as if it is a real language. In the lore it is real, but in reality it is not.

It is impossible to learn droidspeak because there is nothing there to learn. In other fictional languages there can be some parts that really resemble an actual language. With droidspeak there is nothing of the sort, since it has no structure whatsoever.

If you want to speak droidspeak, or even say the famous May The Force Be With You, all you have to do is smack some random beeps and bops together and say that is what it means.

beep-bop-beep

-Me

One can only mimic what sounds like language, and when they do so it always sounds really creepy (or is that just me?).

Is Galactic Basic A Real Language?

Along with others like droidspeak, one Star Wars language that one might hear about in the movies or shows is Galactic Basic. What is Galactic Basic, and is it a real language?

Galactic Basic is real in the Star Wars universe, but is not an actual language in real life. Galactic Basic is what every character in Star Wars is speaking, which conveniently explains why they are in fact speaking English. As such any language can be considered as Galactic Basic.

Galactic Basic was a clever way of explaining why all characters, whether human or alien, were all speaking the same language.

Why Do All Star Wars Characters Speak English?

Galactic Basic is English, or any language of the viewer for that matter.

There are some exceptions with a few aliens or droids, but overall most speak Galactic Basic. This allows for most of the movies and other media to be predominately in the language of the viewer.

What Is The Binary Language In Star Wars?

We’ve gone over a lot about droidspeak, from what it is to how characters understand it. Though you might have heard the language “Binary” mentioned by others talking about droid languages or in the movies themselves. What is the Binary language in Star Wars?

The Binary language in Star Wars is what the droids like R2-D2 and BB-8 speak. Also known as droidspeak, this language is used amongst droids with artificial intelligence, and even with those lacking it. Binary is a programming language used by droids and simple electronics.

Binary and droidspeak mean the same thing, and as such are interchangeable terms. There is no rhyme or reason why some prefer one term over the other. Regardless, they both refer to the same concept and you can use whichever one you want.

The Final Talking Point On Droid Languages In Star Wars…

The droids found in the beloved and fictional universe (or should I say galaxy) of Star Wars only have one language of their own known as droidspeak, or Binary. Characters within the story can learn to understand these droids through context and the inflection of the droid’s “voice”.

This droidspeak language is not real, since it has no vocabulary, grammar, and writing system or group of people that speak it.

If interested in more topics related to language learning, look through some of my other articles (especially the one about Elvish language).

Jackie Booe

Jackie Booe is a licensed teacher for elementary through high school in 3 states. She is a former adjunct professor at the undergraduate level and certified to teach elementary, secondary English, and English Language Learners. She was a mentor for many education interns, has taught and coordinated professional development for teachers and educators, and professionally tutored in a multitude of subjects.

Recent Posts