It's established that C-3PO can speak the Huttese language, as he does at the gate to Jabba's palace, but when he is performing his interpreting duties for Jabba (for example, when Jabba is negotiating with Leia, disguised as Boushh the bounty hunter), he translates whatever language is being spoken into Basic (shown to us as English).


Jabba can obviously understand Basic when it's spoken to him, but it's clearly not his native language. Doesn't this seem inefficient, and potentially rude? I can understand the filmmakers wanting to minimize the portion of the movie that requires subtitles, but there's enough Huttese dialog already that it seems like this would be fairly marginal.


2 Answers 2


The main reason Hutts do not always speak Basic is a sense of superiority: they believe their native Huttese is a better language, and often prefer to speak through translators rather than lower themselves.

The same goes for others speaking Huttese - C3PO was possibly not deemed worthy of speaking Huttese when translating lesser beings.

  • 4
    Exactly. There was an account in the EU of Jabba feeding someone to the rancor who made the mistake of speaking to Jabba in Huttese.
    – Chad
    Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 14:30
  • Source: Han Solo trilogy, among others Commented May 28, 2014 at 18:49
  • 1
    Do you have any evidence for this assessment? Or is it merely a hypothesis? Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 0:50
  • @GreenAsJade - see my last comment. The evidence was in the Solo trilogy Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 20:22

English is the lingua franca of the Empire. We saw it used as such in the Senate in the first three episodes, the leaders of the trade federation used it, and of course the Emperor speaks it, which by itself would make the language special. As we saw in Return of the Jedi, Jabba conducted business in an open court fashion, surrounded by his advisors, guards, slaves, and pets. He seemed quite confident in his security and the security of the information presented to him. Therefore he would instruct his protocol droid to use the language most people present would understand, and that would be English.

  • 7
    Technically, they are speaking Galactic Basic, which for some reason comes across as english (it sure doesn't look like english on those signs...) Commented May 28, 2014 at 18:17
  • "By an astonishing coincidence, the two languages sound exactly the same." -- Kang (or Kodos), from a Treehouse of Horror episode, possibly misquoted. Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 15:52

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