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"...it's rough on my throat, I lost my voice for a day after bugging Zeb by serenading him in Shyriiwook."
―Sabine Wren[3]

Shyriiwook was a language of the Wookiees, others of which included Thykarann and Xaczik.[4] The language consisted of growling and howls, and thus was difficult for anyone not a Wookiee to speak or learn and was also rough on their throat.[5] In particular, it was hard for human throats to make the warbling whines and growls that made up the Shyriiwook language. Nevertheless, it was possible for a human to master the language after taking on the effort of learning it.[6] Complicating things further was the fact that Wookiees were physically unable to speak anything but Wookiee languages, making communication a common barrier.[7] It had over one-hundred-and-fifty words for wood,[5] and many words for bloodshed.[8]


"The people are Wookiees, their language is Shyriiwook."
"Noted, genius. Do you understand what our Wookiee friend here is saying in his native tongue of Shyriiwook?"
"… No."
―Two Kezarat Convoy guards[9]

Human Jedi Knight Nib Assek learned how to speak Shyriiwook specifically so she could take the Wookiee Burryaga Agaburry as her Padawan.[6] Sabine Wren was capable of speaking a smattering of Shyriiwook, but lost her voice after annoying Garazeb Orrelios for a day, serenading him in Shyriiwook.[3] Hondo Ohnaka was able to speak some Shyriiwook, capable of quoting many Wookiee proverbs.[10]

Han Solo was capable of understanding it, as he understood what Chewbacca was saying.[11] When he first met Chewbacca, the pair became friends when they helped each other escape the Imperial Army, after Solo showed Chewbacca he was on his side, by speaking to him in Shyriiwook.[12] Major Harter Kalonia, who served as a physician in the Resistance, was fluent in Shyriiwook. Rey was able to learn Shyriiwook due to her interaction with offworlders on Jakku.[13] Beaumont Kin was another human with the Resistance who knew the language and translated for others, though his skills were somewhat out of practice as of the blockade of Kashyyyk[14] and he struggled to understand other Wookiee dialects.[15]


"You're wasting your breath. I don't speak Shyriiwook."
«Hurr. Gghh haaa.»
That's a flight trajectory…How did—are you tracking that ship somehow?"
"I don't know what "harro" means, but I'm guessing it's something like "yes"."
Corbus Tyra and Chewbacca[16]
  • Ah. ("One.")[3]
  • Ah-ah. ("Two.")[3]
  • A-oo-ah. ("Three.")[3]
  • Wyoorg. ("Four.")[3]
  • Wyaaaaaa. ("Hello.")[4]
  • Roooarrgh ur roo. ("I have a bad feeling about this.")[4]
  • Murghhhhh grrbokgh. (Another way of saying "I have a bad feeling about this.")[17]
  • Rrrrugh arah-ah-woof? ("How do you take your coffee?")[4]
  • Wwwah rrroooaaah wha? ("Want to play holochess?")[4]
  • Aarrr wgh ggwaaah. ("Jump to hyperspace.")[4]
  • Rrraugrah. ("Hairless Imperial intruder.")[18]
  • Rrashrakrrykap karaaa arrarakkyysh. ("Rid us of this menace.")[19]
  • Yyyuurrrrrrruuunghh. (Roughly translated, "What the Hutt is going on in here and who do I have to whomp to make it stop?")[17]
  • Vlarrrr muurrrgh rrgggg lurrrr. Brrr-annn gooowwrrrgh. (Loosely translated, "Find a really big weapon for me," though sounds much more poetic to native Shyriiwook speakers.)[17]
  • Hronn murrgbushk. ("Something dead.")[17]
  • Mrowgh ghrrmrowrig! ("Up into the trees!")[17]
  • Rowrigghh hrmkuhhrnnn. ("The trees are life," roughly, though difficult to understand even to those who understood Shyriiwook, and of particular importance in Wookiee culture.)[17]
  • Hhhummghhra nwurrr rowrigghh. (A Wookiee saying, also related to trees and paths and destiny.)[17]
  • Hrung? ("Ready?")[17]
  • Rwww. ("No.")[17]
  • Yarrhh rrrrrrrunnnn mmonnrgh. (An old Wookiee expression that talks about being present to catch a Wookiee who slips out of a tree.)[17]
  • Nyrrrrnyrrrr. Gronnnnnnda murrrrrg hhhuurrhuurr! ("Look at the holovid. There's clearly a door built into the statue. We just need to get there and get inside before the worm grabs us again!")[17]
  • Nyrrr. Rumk nyrr. ("No, just hold on for a minute.")[17]
  • Brooonaughhh rruug rrruo. (Loosely translated, "That's what you get for sending me on a pet-sitting job.")[17]
  • Grrrrrrrraaaaaarrrrph. (Translation unknown)[10]
  • Grrgaaggaa. (An expression of gratitude.)[10]
  • Awwwrrrrrrrr. (A general purpose statement that expressed neither agreement nor disagreement.)[10]
  • Arrrrggggg. (An objection of some sort.)[10]
  • Grroooogrrraaaawrrrrrrrrmph. (An old Wookiee proverb, roughly translated in Galactic Basic Standard as "People often mistakenly judge a tree by its branches, but a wise Wookiee knows its strength is in its roots.")[10]
  • Grrrrraaaarrrrr. (Hard to translate, but essentially an apology for a companion's behavior.)[10]
  • Mmmmmmrrrrr. (An expression of agreement.)[10]
  • Grrrrrrrrgaahga. (Another expression of agreement.)[10]
  • Arrrgrrr? (A questioning expression.)[10]
  • Grrrrrupmprrr! (An expression of disgust or irritation.)[10]
  • Grrrrrwwwwwrr! (A wise expression.)[10]
  • Grrrrrrrrraaggoooorrrrrrrrr! (Translation unknown.)[10]
  • Grrrrafffffffffgrrr! (A panicked expression.)[10]
  • Grrrumpg grrrumpgh grrrrrgeeer. (An explanation that the main star of the Throffdon system went supernova twelve hours ago.)[10]
  • Grrrrrrrumph. (Yet another expression of agreement.)[10]
  • Harraag. ("But, Han")[20]
  • Hhara Ggaaarr Nnnrr? ("Is that so?")[21]
  • Wyaaaaa. Ruh ruh. ("Hello. How are you?")[22]
  • Wyogg, ur oh. ("I am well, thank you.")[22]
  • Uma. ("Yes.")[22]
  • Muawa. ("No.")[22]
  • Ur uh. ("Thank you.")[22]
  • Ruh gwyaaaag. ("I am a friend.")[22]
  • Rrarrrggh ("What you'll need")[23]
  • Mrowgh Ghrrmrowrig! ("Up into the trees!")[24]

Behind the scenes[]

For the 2018 Star Wars Anthology film Solo: A Star Wars Story, screenwriters Lawrence and Jon Kasdan wrote Chewbacca's dialogue translated to English in the script, so Han Solo actor Alden Ehrenreich could understand what was being said.[25] The roars of Chewbacca's Shyriiwook were originally created by sound designer Ben Burtt using recorded bear sounds. For Solo: A Star Wars Story, additional recordings were made of a grizzly bear and a seal, among other animals, and, with some audio manipulation, were used to expand Chewbacca's vocal range.[26]


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