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Whenever Jabba says something to Leia in Huttese she never seems confused at all - she seems to understand what he's saying. Also, when Jabba gives Leia an order or talks to Leia does he do it in basic or huttese?

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Does Jabba speak Basic? It's been awhile since I saw the film or read a book with him in it –  SSumner Mar 7 at 0:04
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I'm pretty sure Star Trek: The Clone Wars is not at all canon. –  phantom42 Mar 7 at 0:36
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@DVK read the comments again. –  phantom42 Mar 7 at 0:37
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@DVK Star Trek:The Clone Wars. –  phantom42 Mar 7 at 0:40
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@phantom42 - Oh! –  DVK Mar 7 at 0:56

3 Answers 3

Probably, but not necessarily

While Leia reacts to Jabba directly, there isn't a scene where she is doing so verbally that Threepio is not translating.

From the transcript:

While

Leia is disguised as Boushh

We see:

Jabba continues speaking, as Threepio nervously translates. Boushh listens, studying the dangerous creatures around the room. He notices BOBA FETT standing near the door.

THREEPIO Oh. The illustrious Jabba bids you welcome and will gladly pay you the reward of twenty- five thousand.

BOUSHH (in Ubese subtitled) I want fifty thousand. No less.

Later, Leia may be reacting as much to Jabba's physical actions as verbal ones:

LEIA We have powerful friends. You're gonna regret this...

JABBA (in Huttese subtitled) I'm sure.

Inexorably her lovely face moves to within a few inches of Jabba's ugly blob of a head, and Leia turns away in disgust.

LEIA Ugh!

Which is pretty much the last bit of dialogue for her and Jabba. They don't seem to have much to discuss after this...

However, considering the following:

  1. Leia was a Senator and diplomat and therefore probably knew quite a few languages. She apparently learned Ubese by this point, for instance.
  2. The Hutts are a powerful business entity in the galaxy, so Alderaan has possibly done business with them.
  3. Han certainly understands Huttese, so it isn't uncommon for Humans to learn.

It's not unreasonable to assume she understands the language. But from the movies at least, no confirmation that she does.

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According to C-canon, Liliac (and Jabba) spoke Basic.

Han bowed again. “Lord Jiliac,” he said, in Basic, “it is a privilege to meet you, Your Excellency. Your cousin Lord Tagta says that you are always in need of good pilots.”
“Pilot Solo”-Jiliac turned bulbous eyes layered in fat upon Han, and peered down at him with faint curiosity-
“do you speak and understand Huttese?” (Clearly, he spoke in Basic as he didn't know if Han understood Huttese)
“I understand it, Your Excellency. I do not speak it well enough to convey the beauty of the language, therefore it is not proper for me to attempt to utter it,” Han said earnestly.
...
Han bowed to the younger Hutt. “Greetings, Your Excellency.”
“Greetings, Captain Solo,” Jabba replied with a gracious wave of his small hand. “Your reputation precedes you.”
Jiliac held out his own hand. “Enough chitchat. The holocube, Captain?” “Certainly, Your Excellency.” Han produced it, handed it to Jiliac.
(src: Han Solo series Book 2 - The Hutt Gambit)

Please note that if you search for "Huttese" in book, you will see that it's very frequently mentioned that Hutts speak in Huttese specifically in various situations (including to Boba Fett). Therefore, the lack of such clarification here makes me assume it was Basic.

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I'd point out that he could have asked the question in Huttese, and if Han responded, he clearly understood. But I find that unlikely, since the author probably would not have written it that way without leaving an actual clue –  SSumner Mar 7 at 0:52
    
Oh, and it'd be nice to know which book(s) these came from. +1 –  SSumner Mar 7 at 0:53
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@SSumner - see the edit –  DVK Mar 7 at 0:54
    
But is the question whether Jabba can speak Basic, or if he does to Leia? I don't see an instance in the movies where actually uses Basic. –  joshbirk Mar 7 at 0:55
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@joshbirk - see the last oaragraph. In that book, there are MANY instances of the author very explicitly noting when Jabba (and other Hutts) speak Huttese. There seems to be a consistent pattern, and assuming that here the author didn't say anything violates that pattern. –  DVK Mar 7 at 12:12

There is no mention of Leia understanding Huttese, though she does seem to understand Jabba's comments. She is never spoken to in Huttese or professed to understand Huttese during the EU. She can speak Ubese, which she uses to speak to Jabba in Return of the Jedi.

Jabba, however, to answer the question put in the comments, is shown to both understand and speak Basic during the EU. Putting aside the two occasions DVK mentions in his answer -as I tend to side with SSumner on this, and did so when I read the trilogy in question years ago, that Jiliac and Jabba are in fact speaking Huttese and assuming that Solo understands as he answers - in Shadows of the Empire, Jabba speaks Huttese to Prince Xizor, who requests that he speak Basic. Jabba replies, in Basic, "as you wish," and continues the conversation in that language.

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As noted in DVK's answer - Jabba's ability to speak Basic is not in the actual question. If someone wants to ask SSumner's question from the comments as a question, they could - but that isn't the question being asked here. –  joshbirk Mar 7 at 15:19
    
I'm aware of that. That was simply an addendum to the main point, which is that there is no canonical reference to her understanding/ speaking Huttese one way or the other. Also, to be honest, when Harry Pringle is asking the question, I'm more interested in offering information to the other people reading, rather than him. See his question history for why. –  James Sheridan Mar 15 at 8:24

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