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"It isn't an easy language to learn, what with all the growls and howls. Big Z told me the whole point was to make it difficult for outsiders to understand."
Mission Vao[1]

Senator Kerrithrarr, a native speaker of Shyriiwook

Shyriiwook, also known as Wookieespeak, was the main trade language of the Wookiees. In Basic, Shyriiwook translates to "tongue of the tree people." It was not the only Wookiee language, but, being the main trade language, it was the language understood by most non-Wookiees who understood "the Wookiee language"—in fact, most non-Wookiees were unaware of the existence of multiple Wookiee languages.


"…he's good company if you understand the peculiarities of Wookiee talk. I sound pretty stupid trying to speak Wookiee, but I understand it well enough."
Han Solo, describing Chewbacca to Sai'da[2]

To outsiders, this language usually sounded like mere animalistic barks, roars, growls, and moans, conveying little more than emotion. However, Shyriiwook was in fact just as intelligent a language as Basic.

The unique shape of the Wookiee throat made Shyriiwook a very difficult, even impossible language to speak for most non-Wookiees; presumably the word Shyriiwook itself, as well as other Wookiee words or names, were transliterations of the original Wookiee sounds into a form more easily pronounced by others. No tongue or lip movement was required to speak Shyriiwook; the jaw was typically locked open, with sound emanating from the throat and back of the mouth.

It was also incredibly difficult, if not impossible, for most Wookiees to learn to speak Basic. As a result, most inter-species communication involving Wookiees had to be carried out in a bilingual format, usually with the Wookiee speaking Shyriiwook and the other party speaking Basic.

Leia Organa Solo encountered a Wookiee with a speech impediment which conveniently rendered his Shyriiwook pronunciation much easier to understand by Leia, who was learning the language at the time.

Shyriiwook had over 150 words for "wood," depending on content, grain, moisture and underlying structure. It also had fifteen separate words meaning "violence."[3]

However, standard Shyriiwook was considered lacking in suitable terminology, and perhaps semantic precision, for many technical subjects. Accordingly, when Wookiees talked about topics such as starship maintenance, the Thykarann dialect was often preferred, with many Wookiees capable of switching between the two with relative ease.[4]

Another Wookiee language, Xaczik, was indigenous to the Wartaki Islands on Kashyyyk and several outlying coastal regions. While Shyriiwook remained the common language of Wookiee trade and travel, the much rarer Xaczik language became the secret language of the Wookiee underground when Imperial forces took over their planet.[5][6]


Common phrases[]

  • Wyaaaaaa. Ruh ruh. ("Hello. How are you?")[6]
  • Ruow. ("Goodbye.")[6]
  • Wyogg, ur oh. ("I am well, thank you.")[6]
  • Ruh gwyaaaag. ("I am a friend.")[6]
  • Wgha ryuraygu yuhahyrrararr. ("I am sword and sandal.")[source?]
  • Huwaa muaa mumwa. ("Can I buy you a drink?")[6]
  • Wooo hwa hwa? ("Nice weather, eh?")[6]

More complex phrases[]

  • Wua ga ma uma ahuma ooma. ("I think my arm has been pulled out of the socket.")[6]
  • Whoaaaa. Waa maa. Warrgh. ("Pardon me, I need to rest my neck muscles.")[6]
  • Waa hu aa ma ma a oo gah? ("Why did you pick on someone one fourth your size?")[6]
  • Roooarrgh ur roo. ("I have a bad feeling about this.")[7]
  • Hnn-rowr yrroonn nng rarrr! ("Long live the New Republic!")[8]
  • Rrargrarg? ("Can I ask another favor?")[9]
  • Rowr ahragh awf ahraroww rowh rohngr grgrff rf rf. (approximately: "He says he's a Jedi Knight now.")[10]
  • RRRrrruurgh! Arrggg! ("I'm not happy about this situation.")[11]
  • Yaag ruggwah maw huah huah? ("How do you give your fur that shine?")[6]
  • Waag mam ga moo. ("The food is good.")[6]
  • Wu yaga gah ahyag. ("I would like a drink, please.")[6]
  • Waag ahyeg ha. ("I can't reach that.")[6]
  • Uwana goya uhama. ("It's hard to find good help these days.")[6]
  • Hoyaarg aga huwaga? ("How are things at the office?")[6]
  • Gu waagaa ahawag? ("Think it is going to rain tomorrow?")[6]
  • Uwaga waa mu Woohiee? ("How tall is that Wookiee?")[6]
  • Wugaga hu uwamma Woohiee wa-ah? ("Who was that Wookiee I saw you with last night?")[6]
  • Woogaah. Huu hawaaaah hoooghhe waagh! ("I'm famished! Where would I find comestibles to place upon my taste buds?")[6]
  • Wuhu wa gaaa ma ma Igra Ann? ("Have you heard the latest Figran D'an yet?")[6]
  • Yu guwah mah oowhama? ("Do you have a salve to kill these parasites?")[6]
  • Guhaw maw ohyah? ("Was he injured?")[6]
  • Huaah maw wuwu agah? ("When will he recover?")[6]
  • Aarrr wwgggh waah. ("Jump to hyperspace.")[12]
  • Aaaarrr wgh ggwaaah. ("I'm feeling motion sick.")[12]
  • Ahhh argh. Arrrghh! ("Turn right. Right!")[12]
  • Wwwah rrroooaaah wha? ("Want to play holochess?")[12]
  • Grrraooowww gruhhh... ("Stay on target...")[12]
  • Wah shrf shrf shrf rrrooaarrgghh. ("I'm on board with this strategy.")[12]
  • Ruuhr-ahr ahhowww gruh-row-ow. ("Let's try some blue-sky thinking.")[12]
  • Rrrrugh arah-ah-woof? ("How do you take your coffee?")[12]
  • Aaawww rooowwr rrrraahhhrr ("Turn the page, and let's begin!")[12]
  • Rhawk-Arrgh, rrrooaarrgghh ("May all the forces be with you!")[13]
  • Arrrrrwrrrrrronnkkk raarrh ("Is the air-conditioning actually on in this building?")[14]

In dealing with telemarketers[]

  • Mu hu mwa gaa. ("I cannot talk on the comlink right now.")[6]
  • Uoo waa gaa moo. ("It is mealtime.")[6]
  • Wuyagah na Kourasaa Yurinal. ("I do not want the Coruscant Journal.")[6]
  • Aa-ooh-gaa? ("How much is it?")[6]
  • Mu waa waa. ("Please leave me alone.")[6]
  • Mu ah waa gaa a yukshin oid. ("I already have a suction droid.")[6]
  • My agah ya mawah. ("I do not want an in-home demonstration.")
  • Mu na ya. ("Please go away.")

Common words[]

  • haaag ("doorway")[6]
  • awa ("go")[6]
  • yo agaahaa ("headache")[6]
  • ohh haa ("okay")[6]
  • yaag ("how")[6]
  • wuahh ("what")[6]
  • huaahh ("when")[6]
  • muaahh ("who")[6]
  • ah wu aaa ("why")[6]
  • uma ("yes")[6]
  • muawa ("no")[6]
  • hrrrrrnnnn ("right")
  • ur oh ("thank you")[6]
  • yukshin ("suction")[6]
  • oid ("droid")[6]
  • yurinal ("journal")[6]
  • muaarga ("peace")[6]

Counting in Shyriiwook[]

  • (1) ah
  • (2) ah-ah
  • (3) a-oo-ah
  • (4) wyoorg
  • (5) ah wyoorg
  • (6) hu yourg
  • (7) muwaa yourg
  • (8) ah muwaa yourg
  • (9) a-oo-mu
  • (10) aohwawh

Words used as name prefixes[]

  • arri ("mighty, strong")[16]
  • atti ("father/mother" or "first")[16]
  • bus ("home," "life" or "tree")[16]
  • ciiir ("great, ancient, wise")[16]
  • chal ("hidden, secret" or "shadow")[16]
  • chew ("honored, bole, trusted")[16]
  • dry ("elder, old, wizened")[16]
  • fro ("proud" or "powerful")[16]
  • gaar ("brave, bold, fearless")[16]
  • geyy ("fat, large, great")[16]
  • gra ("peaceful" or "steady, sure")[16]
  • groz ("burning" or "furious" or "golden")[16]
  • issh ("black, dark" or "dangerous" or "deep")[16]
  • ji ("beloved, fortunate, lucky")[16]
  • jow ("star, sun" or "space" or "vast")[16]
  • kalla ("angry, mad, wild")[16]
  • kerri ("high, tall" or "tree")[16]
  • kit ("deft, nimble, swift")[16]
  • liak ("blood" or "red" or "autumn")[16]
  • low ("dutiful" or "honored, proud")[16]
  • lof ("clever, cunning, wily")[16]
  • malla ("beautiful" or "green" or "valued")[16]
  • nag ("heroic, legendary, mythic")[16]
  • ralr ("lake, ocean, sea")[16]
  • ror ("dark, hidden" or "marsh, swamp")[16]
  • sal ("rain, storm, lightning, thunder")[16]
  • shor ("deadly, lethal" or "fierce" or "shadow")[16]
  • sno ("curious" or "quick")[16]
  • spet ("legends" or "legendary, mythic, famed")[16]
  • tar ("cloud, fog, mist")[16]
  • wrrl ("quiet, stealthy" or "soft")[16]

Words used as names suffixes[]

  • addik ("guardian, guard, sentinel")[16]
  • ahab ("keeper, warden")[16]
  • an ("crafter, craftsman" or "master")[16]
  • anta ("judge" or "leader")[16]
  • arra ("fur" or "shield" or "hide")[16]
  • bacca ("ally, friend" or "brother/sister")[16]
  • becca ("blade" or "defender")[16]
  • bev ("child" or "son/daughter")[16]
  • bow ("bearer, keeper" or "worker")[16]
  • chiir ("air" or "call, speech, voice")[16]
  • chit ("champion, hero")[16]
  • cuk ("companion, husband/wife")[16]
  • drrl ("safety" or "sky, treetop")[16]
  • evge ("beast [especially katarn]" or "rage")[16]
  • kabukk ("ancestor" or "guide, councilor")[16]
  • kazza ("ghost, spirit" or "tracker")[16]
  • kkata ("child" or "rogue, scoundrel")[16]
  • lanna ("cry, growl, roar")[16]
  • mapia ("rain, storm" or "season")[16]
  • mum ("claw, tool" or "climber")[16]
  • nik ("jester, joker" or "riddle" or "webweaver")[16]
  • orral ("strider" or "treasure" or "worthy")[16]
  • ova ("eye" or "gazer, seeker" or "seer")[16]
  • pirr ("builder, forger" or "trader")[16]
  • porin ("sage, scholar, teacher")[16]
  • raoao ("cousin, kin" or "noble")[16]
  • ryyhn ("danger" or "shimmersilk" or "syren plant")[16]
  • tatha ("bite, biter" or "claw")[16]
  • tharr ("flyer" or "swimmer")[16]
  • tobuck ("music, song" or "singer")[16]
  • urra ("soldier, warrior, captain")[16]
  • warr ("forest" or "guide, scout" or "hunter")[16]
  • ykam ("dancer" or "walker")[16]

Notable non-native users of Shyriiwook[]


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I find your lack of sources disturbing.

This article needs to be provided with more sources and/or appearances to conform to a higher standard of article quality.

Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  2. Star Wars Journal: Hero for Hire
  3. Star Wars (1977) 5
  4. Tyrant's Test
  5. Rebel Dawn
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 6.22 6.23 6.24 6.25 6.26 6.27 6.28 6.29 6.30 6.31 6.32 6.33 6.34 6.35 6.36 6.37 6.38 6.39 6.40 6.41 6.42 6.43 6.44 6.45 Galactic Phrase Book & Travel Guide
  7. Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game
  8. Star Wars: Empire's End
  9. Before the Storm
  10. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (novel)
  11. Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, Second Edition
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8 How to Speak Wookiee: A Manual for Intergalactic Communication
  13. InstagramIcon.png Star Wars (@starwars) on Instagram: Translation of "May all the forces be with you!" (March 1, 2014). (backup link)
  14. Star Wars Blog.png "Inside How to Speak Wookiee," The Official Star Wars Blog (backup link)
  15. StarWars.com May the 4th: Aaaaaaargh Ghhhhhrn Gaaaaaar – Star Wars eCards on StarWars.com (content now obsolete; backup link)
  16. 16.00 16.01 16.02 16.03 16.04 16.05 16.06 16.07 16.08 16.09 16.10 16.11 16.12 16.13 16.14 16.15 16.16 16.17 16.18 16.19 16.20 16.21 16.22 16.23 16.24 16.25 16.26 16.27 16.28 16.29 16.30 16.31 16.32 16.33 16.34 16.35 16.36 16.37 16.38 16.39 16.40 16.41 16.42 16.43 16.44 16.45 16.46 16.47 16.48 16.49 16.50 16.51 16.52 16.53 16.54 16.55 16.56 16.57 16.58 16.59 16.60 16.61 16.62 16.63 Galactic Campaign Guide
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Star Wars Gamer 6
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 18.7 The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 Power of the Jedi Sourcebook
  20. 20.0 20.1 Legacy (2006) 16
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 21.6 21.7 21.8 21.9 SWGsmall.jpg "Endor and the Moddell Sector"—Star Wars Gamer 9
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 22.7 22.8 22.9 Star Wars Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Rebellion Era Sourcebook
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 Coruscant and the Core Worlds
  26. The Prize Pelt: The Tale of Bossk
  27. MidWorld
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Legacy (2006) 14
  29. Secrets of the Sisar Run
  30. Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
  31. 31.0 31.1 SWGsmall.jpg "The University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life: The Anx"—Star Wars Gamer 7
  32. Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
  33. Galaxy Guide 2: Yavin and Bespin, Second Edition
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 Star Wars Gamer 8
  35. 35.0 35.1 Tempest Feud
  36. The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide
  37. A Cularin Presence
  38. Nien Nunb, Kessel Administrator: An Expanded Universe Character
  39. MedStar I: Battle Surgeons
  40. 40.0 40.1 Star Wars Gamer 10
  41. WEG icon2.jpg "The Long Shot Campaign" – Star Wars Campaign Pack, republished in Classic Campaigns
  42. X-Wing: Mercy Kill
  43. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Wookiee Hunt"