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mathyou9
2005-Jan-31, 11:08 AM
I am familiar with the concept in Star Trek, (i.e., the universal translator makes everyone appear to speak english, or whatever your native may be) but is this issue ever brought up in Star Wars.

For example, Han Solo speaks "english" to Jabba, Chewbacca, etc., but in return, Jabba speaks Huttese (sp?), Chewie speaks Wookie, (if that's the correct terminology; and how Han actually understands Chewie is beyond me, but that can be another thread.)

Enlighten me.

Moose
2005-Jan-31, 01:07 PM
In StarWars, the assumption is that everyone is somewhat multilingual.

Han and Jabba both speak Huttese and "Basic". Luke, however, does not speak Huttese and so needed 3P0 to translate to Basic. Jabba doesn't speak whatever that was that "Bounty Hunter Leia" spoke, so 3P0 translated it into Basic for Jabba.

Han and Lando understand Kayshikk but can't easily speak it. Chewbacca understands Basic just fine, but Wookies are generally unable to pronounce Basic words. So each basically speak their own language.

This is common where I'm from. Most people are French-English bilingual, and conversations are often bilingual as well.

Demigrog
2005-Jan-31, 02:47 PM
The real question is, why does everyone in SG1 speak English, even the non-humans in a completely different galaxy that have been in hibernation longer than England has existed? :)

tofu
2005-Jan-31, 03:55 PM
For the Han/Chewy thing, I always thought the main problem was just that wookies are physically incapable of speaking basic (english) due to limitations with their vocal cords. So, chewy can understand Han, but can't speak English back to him. Similarly, Han can understand chewy's grunting but what's the point in speaking that way back to the wookie, since he understands engligh?

The thing about the astrodroids (the R2 units) communicating with little beeps is kind of silly. If you wanted to, you could explain it by saying that they get more data out in less time that way. So, it's a bandwidth issue and allows them to communicate with other machines more efficiently. However, realistically you'd expect engineers to solve that problem with high frequency wireless since, after all, sound requires a transport medium. And no matter how they communicate with each other, you'd expect them to also be able to speak English. There's no down-side to programming them to do that.

But, we all know that the real reason R2 beeps instead of talks is because lucas thought he would be cuter that way.

Jason
2005-Jan-31, 05:18 PM
Similarly, Han can understand chewy's grunting but what's the point in speaking that way back to the wookie, since he understands engligh?
Not only that, but I doubt a human can accurately speak Shriwook (Wookie). Han could try speaking it, but would probably sound like a wookie child with a really bad cold or something to Chewie.


And no matter how they communicate with each other, you'd expect them to also be able to speak English. There's no down-side to programming them to do that.
I suppose you could argue that programming them to also speak English would take up memory and hardware space that is better used for other things - the entire english language and the grammer to speak it properly would take up a good sized chunk of memory.

Moose
2005-Jan-31, 06:51 PM
I suppose you could argue that programming them to also speak English would take up memory and hardware space that is better used for other things - the entire english language and the grammer to speak it properly would take up a good sized chunk of memory.

I, at one point, had a french text-to-speech synthesizer on board a 386. It was an ISA card, and used MS Basic on MS-DOS to drive it.

Consider also that the speech/translation software/hardware that 3P0 runs fits in his head and/or torso. Bolt a limbless protocol droid to the backside of your astromech if you're that hard up for speech. :D

tofu
2005-Jan-31, 07:35 PM
Bolt a limbless protocol droid to the backside of your astromech if you're that hard up for speech. :D

please don't give lucas any more ideas for stupid cliches. I nearly puked when I heard "oh this is such a drag" in the episode II.

Moose
2005-Jan-31, 08:05 PM
Oh goodness, I just had a horrible thought:

In the style of the Turducken, I present: the Ewprodungen

It's an Ewok in a protocol droid in a Gungen. Thrice the cheesy cuteness. Coming soon to a theater near you.

man on the moon
2005-Jan-31, 08:22 PM
The real question is, why does everyone in SG1 speak English, even the non-humans in a completely different galaxy that have been in hibernation longer than England has existed? :)

there is a link somewhere, i looked this up once. i have since lost it! to be brief, it said something to the effect of the producers didn't want to spend the first ten minutes of every show learning an alien language, or having subtitles through the whole thing. it is more a practical thing for the real humans than a realistic thing for the not-so human.

Makgraf
2005-Jan-31, 08:48 PM
The real question is, why does everyone in SG1 speak English, even the non-humans in a completely different galaxy that have been in hibernation longer than England has existed? :)
They don't speak English, they speak Basic. By a curious coincedence it's actually the same as English :).

Demigrog
2005-Jan-31, 09:07 PM
The real question is, why does everyone in SG1 speak English, even the non-humans in a completely different galaxy that have been in hibernation longer than England has existed? :)

there is a link somewhere, i looked this up once. i have since lost it! to be brief, it said something to the effect of the producers didn't want to spend the first ten minutes of every show learning an alien language, or having subtitles through the whole thing. it is more a practical thing for the real humans than a realistic thing for the not-so human.

Oh, I know. Not dinging them for it, just putting Star Wars in perspective. :)



I suppose you could argue that programming them to also speak English would take up memory and hardware space that is better used for other things - the entire english language and the grammer to speak it properly would take up a good sized chunk of memory.


More importantly, talking droids are annoying (ie C3PO), so maybe the lack of speech is intentional. Also, some species may not use verbal speech and can easily communicate with a beeping droid (ie the Verpine). Maybe R2s were originally designed by such a species.

The extended universe of the novels has at least one case of an R2 with a vocalizer (on the robotic ore freighter in Paradise Snare. Also, at least one Wookie has a speech impediment that allows him to speak in a more human-like way.

Lycus
2005-Jan-31, 09:14 PM
there is a link somewhere, i looked this up once. i have since lost it! to be brief, it said something to the effect of the producers didn't want to spend the first ten minutes of every show learning an alien language, or having subtitles through the whole thing. it is more a practical thing for the real humans than a realistic thing for the not-so human.
If I remember correctly, I think that this is also one of the areas where they made fun of themselves on the "Wormhole X-treme" episode. :) But, yeah, SG-1 has one of the worst language systems, but no one really cares at this point.

Farscape's was kinda cool, despite it seeming a tad "magical."

V-GER
2005-Jan-31, 09:38 PM
Demigrog wrote:

The real question is, why does everyone in SG1 speak English, even the non-humans in a completely different galaxy that have been in hibernation longer than England has existed?

Simple answer here: http://www.stargatesg1.com/home/faq/index.html#13
(previously they had a more inventive answer but I guess this is the only plausible one.)

mathyou9
2005-Feb-01, 06:03 AM
.... Han can understand chewy's grunting but what's the point in speaking that way back to the wookie, since he understands engligh?

Who here is familiar with Steve Oedekerk's "Thumb Wars (http://www.oentertainment.com/InsaneO/Thumbs/TATM_Locale/mainframe.htm)"? For those who aren't, it is a parody of "Star Wars." All of the characters are thumbs with faces.

Anyway, there is this one part where "Hand Solo" and the gang are being chased by the bad guys. His trusty sidekick, "Crunchy" (Chewie's equivalent) makes the most obnoxious, emotion-free groan. Hand Solo replies with, "Good idea Crunchy, we'll hide in that asteroid field until things cool down."

It's one of those things you have to see to appreciate (because is mocks the whole idea about Chewbacca just grunting and Han mysteriously understands.)

If you haven't seen "Thumb Wars," I suggest you check it out (especially if you are a Star Wars fan; mainly because there are enough details that Oedekerk spoofs, you'll be rolling on the floor.)

man on the moon
2005-Feb-01, 07:29 AM
good, but i think i'm more of a space balls fan myself...

oh hey, remind me to change the code on my luggage sometime!

Amadeus
2005-Feb-01, 01:31 PM
OT Talking about the Star wars books.....


Can someone recomend a few to start reading and in what orderfor someone thats never read any of them before?

SeanF
2005-Feb-01, 02:27 PM
.... Han can understand chewy's grunting but what's the point in speaking that way back to the wookie, since he understands engligh?

Who here is familiar with Steve Oedekerk's "Thumb Wars (http://www.oentertainment.com/InsaneO/Thumbs/TATM_Locale/mainframe.htm)"?
::raises hand:: :)


Anyway, there is this one part where "Hand Solo" and the gang are being chased by the bad guys. His trusty sidekick, "Crunchy" (Chewie's equivalent) makes the most obnoxious, emotion-free groan. Hand Solo replies with, "Good idea Crunchy, we'll hide in that asteroid field until things cool down."

It's one of those things you have to see to appreciate (because is mocks the whole idea about Chewbacca just grunting and Han mysteriously understands.)
My favorite part is when Princess Bunhead shows up on the Death Star and simply says, "I escaped somehow."


If you haven't seen "Thumb Wars," I suggest you check it out (especially if you are a Star Wars fan; mainly because there are enough details that Oedekerk spoofs, you'll be rolling on the floor.)
Gotta check out the rest of them, too - The Blair Thumb has some hilarious moments, as does Thumbtanic. Batthumb, Frankenthumb, The Godthumb . . . did I miss any?

Kung Pow: Enter the Fist . . . :D

NorthGuy
2005-Feb-01, 02:29 PM
OT Talking about the Star wars books.....


Can someone recomend a few to start reading and in what orderfor someone thats never read any of them before?

I've only read a few of the books myself. But the place to start would definitely be the "Heir to the Empire" series by Timothy Zahn. These were the first of the Star Wars books and certainly the best of what I have read. If I remember right, the plot begins a year or so after "Return of the Jedi." There are also new characters, like Talon Kard and Mara Jade, who show up in a number of subsequent books.

Edit: Tried to post an amazon.com link but I can't figure out these URL tags.

Jason
2005-Feb-01, 06:14 PM
I've only read a few of the books myself. But the place to start would definitely be the "Heir to the Empire" series by Timothy Zahn. These were the first of the Star Wars books and certainly the best of what I have read.
Actually, the first Star Wars books are "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" by Alan Dean Foster and the three Han Solo adventures by Brian Daley.
"Splinter of the Mind's Eye" is just plain wierd, as it was written before Empire Strikes Back came out and has a tone rather inconsistant with the rest of the movies.
The Han Solo adventures are quite good. I like them better than anything else that has been written in the Star Wars universe since. You can get a trade paperback that has all three of the books in it.
I haven't read much of the other expanded universe stuff.
Frankly, I am strongly of the opinion that Star Wars works best when enjoyed with a full John Williams soundtrack and a multi-million dollar special effects budget - in other words by watching the movies. I admit, though, that some of the video games have been fun too.

NorthGuy
2005-Feb-01, 06:46 PM
I've only read a few of the books myself. But the place to start would definitely be the "Heir to the Empire" series by Timothy Zahn. These were the first of the Star Wars books and certainly the best of what I have read.
Actually, the first Star Wars books are "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" by Alan Dean Foster and the three Han Solo adventures by Brian Daley.


I stand corrected


Frankly, I am strongly of the opinion that Star Wars works best when enjoyed with a full John Williams soundtrack and a multi-million dollar special effects budget - in other words by watching the movies.

Agreed. The series I mentioned above lead me to reading more books by the same author (Zahn) rather than more books in the Star Wars series.

archman
2005-Feb-02, 03:46 AM
Are any of these books endorsed by Lucas regarding story arcs, or are they like Star Trek books?

Man, I remember reading Splinter of the Mind's Eye! Pretty dang strange.

Makgraf
2005-Feb-02, 06:58 AM
OT Talking about the Star wars books.....


Can someone recomend a few to start reading and in what orderfor someone thats never read any of them before?
What about never?

The Star Wars books are of pretty low quality (though not, I think, as bad as the Star Trek books. *Shudder*). The books in this thread (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=4891&postdays=0&postorder=asc&star t=0) and this thread (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=15317) are probably a better bet.

If you're going to read them though you should do the Thrawn trilogy which is the best of the bunch.

PhantomWolf
2005-Feb-02, 11:22 AM
I think Jason has ToSeeked me again. ;)

One thing, it's Basic, not English. As said, many of the characters are multi-ligual. Han shows that he knows a reasonable amount of Rodian, Huttese, and Shriwook. Luke shows a little understanding of Binary at some point, though most of his direct communication with R2 is either based on actions, or through the X-Wing's interface. Astromechs are not programmed for human interfacing which is why they will often have a translator as a counterpart if they hve an important job. Generally an R2 talks only with other droids, computers or their ships, thus why they only communicate in Binary.

It really only makes sense that characters know several languages. Han is a smuggler and has to deal with mny of the scum of the galaxy. To do so he needs to know their language, even if he doesn't speak it he needs to understand it at least just so he knows what they are talking about behind his back. Jabba is in a position where he can resort to not speak anything other then Huttese. He would be foolish not to be able to at least understand the major trade language of the Galaxy, Basic, as well I would expect a number of the languages of his court. I would not be surprised if Jabba knew Gand, Rodian, Gamoeran, and others as well as Twi'lek simply because those in his court spoke them and jabba was not one to allow people to concoct plans in other languages.

Farmers on Tatoonie would need to be able to understand Jawa to trade with them, probably a few other major languages when they had to trade with others. Recall however that Luke's aunt wanted a translator that speaks "Bocce" while Jabba later cannot understand Leia when she, disgused as Boushh, speaks in Ubese and thus needs 3PO to translate. again 3PO points out that the Ewoks speak a very primative dialect and he's not totally such of the translation.

We see translation issues again in the senate where Senators often need tranlator droids and units to undertand each other.

Personally I think that this is one of the things that makes SW the great saga that it is, that it gives the feeling that Aliens are real, not just some actor with gunk plasted to his forehead. Star Trek misses the boat here totally with their "Universal Translator." (Which interestingly doesn't translate an alien language if they don't want the crew of the Enterprise to know what is being said.)


As to the Novels, it depends on which perid you want to read on. Some of the books are better than others. Personally I liked Shadows of the Empire, the X-Wing Series and the Jedi Academy trilogy better than the Thrawn Trilogy, but that cmes down to personal taste and opinion. Likewise I haven't read any of the New Jedi Order series because I didn't like the premise and cause they killed off Chewie.

From start to finish in cronological order the books are:

Prequel Based

Darth Maul: Saboteur
Cloak of Deception
Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter
The Phantom Menace (Ep 1)
Rogue Planet
The Approaching Storm
Attack of the Clones (Ep 2)
Shatterpoint
Revenge of the Sith (Ep 3: Not Yet Released)

Original Cast Based

Han Solo Trilogy
- The Paradise Snare
- The Hutt Gambit
- Rebel Dawn
The Adventures of Lando Calrissian
The Han Solo Adventures
A New Hope (Ep 4)
Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina
Splinter of the Mind's Eye
The Empire Strikes Back (Ep 5)
Tales of the Bounty Hunters
Shadows of the Empire
Return of the Jedi (Ep 6)
Tales from Jabba's Palace
The Bounty Hunter Wars
- The Mandalorian Armour
- Slave Ship
- Hard Merchandise
The Truce at Bakura
The X-Wing Series
- Rogue Squadron
- Wedge's Gambit
- The Kytos Trap
- The Bacta War
- Wraith Squadron
- Iron Fist
- Solo Command
The Courtship of Princess Leia
A Forest Apart
Tatoonie Ghost
The Thrawn Trilogy
- Heir to the Empire
- Dark Force Rising
- The Last Command
X-Wing: Isard's Revenge
I, Jedi
The Jedi Academy Trilogy
- Jedi Search
- Dark Apprentice
- Champions of the Force
Children of the Jedi
Darksaber
Planet of Twilight
X-Wing: Starfighters of Adumar
The Crystal Star
The Black Fleet Crisis Trilogy
- Before the Storm
- Shield of Lies
- Tyrant's Test
The New Rebellion
The Corellian Trilogy
- Ambush at Corellia
- Assault at Selonia
- Showdown at Centerpoint
The hand of Thrawn
- Specter of the Past
- Vision of the Future

The New Generation Based

Junior Jedi Knights Series
Young Jedi Knights Series
The New Jedi Order
- Vector Prime
- Dark Tide I: Onslaught
- Dark Tide II: Ruin
- Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial
- Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse
- Balance Point
- Recovery
- Edge of Victory I: Conquest
- Edge of Victory II: Rebirth
- Star by Star
- Dark Journey
- Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream
- Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand
- Traitor
- Destiny's Way
- Ylesia
- Force Heretic I: Remnant
- Force Heretic II: Refugee
- Force Heretic III: Reunion
- The Final Prophecy
- The Unifying Force

PhantomWolf
2005-Feb-02, 11:27 AM
Are any of these books endorsed by Lucas regarding story arcs, or are they like Star Trek books?

Man, I remember reading Splinter of the Mind's Eye! Pretty dang strange.

All SW books have to undergo a Continuity process by LucasFilm to make sure that they are consistant with each other and the films.

Edited to add:

On a side note, as a further consilidation LucasBooks now prints the SW novels having taken over from Bantam's Spectra Publishing.

Thus LucasFilm controls the Movies, LucasBooks the Novels and LucasArts the games. All three are supposed to be being created to exisit as a cohesive and total package.

frenat
2005-Feb-02, 01:49 PM
From start to finish in cronological order the books are:

Prequel Based

Darth Maul: Saboteur
...etc.


Don't forget the Dark Empire series. It occurs after the Thrawn trilogy but before The Jedi Acedemy Trilogy. It was a comic series published by Dark Horse Comics and subsequently in trade paperback form but it still follow the continuity and provides a very big part of the story. Some events are referred to in the Jedi Academy Trilogy. In short, Palpatine reutrns in a clone body, (yeah I know but it is still interesting), and Luke goes over to the dark side briefly.

Edymnion
2005-Feb-02, 05:26 PM
The thing about the astrodroids (the R2 units) communicating with little beeps is kind of silly. If you wanted to, you could explain it by saying that they get more data out in less time that way. So, it's a bandwidth issue and allows them to communicate with other machines more efficiently. However, realistically you'd expect engineers to solve that problem with high frequency wireless since, after all, sound requires a transport medium. And no matter how they communicate with each other, you'd expect them to also be able to speak English. There's no down-side to programming them to do that.

But, we all know that the real reason R2 beeps instead of talks is because lucas thought he would be cuter that way.Actually, thats not quite why. I saw an interview with one of the designer guys from a while back, and they were asked why it was so hard to have a droid talk, but easy to have them listen. His basic reply was "Well, at the time, we didn't really have the technology to do either. We took a guess at which one would be harder, based off of how a human does it, and we got it wrong."

So the answer is, they didn't know. They looked at people, where its easier to learn to understand a language than it is to actually speak it, and they ran with it. Turns out that now, 30 years after the fact, we know that its easier for a computer to understand speech than to generate it.

Basically, we know which one is supposed to work, so it seems obvious to us now. Back then though, we didn't know, and there wasn't really a clue, so they basically flipped a coin.

PhantomWolf
2005-Feb-03, 07:09 AM
From start to finish in cronological order the books are:

Prequel Based

Darth Maul: Saboteur
...etc.


Don't forget the Dark Empire series. It occurs after the Thrawn trilogy but before The Jedi Acedemy Trilogy. It was a comic series published by Dark Horse Comics and subsequently in trade paperback form but it still follow the continuity and provides a very big part of the story. Some events are referred to in the Jedi Academy Trilogy. In short, Palpatine reutrns in a clone body, (yeah I know but it is still interesting), and Luke goes over to the dark side briefly.

I wasn't forgetting it, I was only dealing with the Novels, Novellas and short stories. If I added the comics as well then I'd have had to go back all the way to the Hyperspace Wars 5000 years prior to the Battle of Yavin.

PhantomWolf
2005-Feb-03, 07:16 AM
Turns out that now, 30 years after the fact, we know that its easier for a computer to understand speech than to generate it.
Actually I would have thought that it was would be easier to generate speech than understand it. Generating speech is merely a matter of phonetics whereas understanding it requires quite complex logic circuits. Of course if you mean merely recognising speech rather then understanding it, that's different, though I'd also point out that we had computers that were capable of "speaking" a typed line long before we had ones that could turn a spoken sentance into text.

Demigrog
2005-Feb-03, 05:54 PM
Turns out that now, 30 years after the fact, we know that its easier for a computer to understand speech than to generate it.
Actually I would have thought that it was would be easier to generate speech than understand it. Generating speech is merely a matter of phonetics whereas understanding it requires quite complex logic circuits. Of course if you mean merely recognising speech rather then understanding it, that's different, though I'd also point out that we had computers that were capable of "speaking" a typed line long before we had ones that could turn a spoken sentance into text.

I think Edymnion meant to say the opposite.

Anyway, we already had working speech synthesis close to the time of Star Wars (TI 99/4A, Speak and Spell, others in 1978/79). Heck, even some of the Star Wars arcade games in the early 80s could talk. :)

Voice recognition is just now starting to get useable. Just for kicks I tried to "type" this using the voicepad sample in the Microsoft Speech SDK. I gave up. :roll: It does OK if you train it, but I don't have a half hour to spare.

Darasen
2005-Feb-08, 02:54 PM
[quote="Demigrog"]
Anyway, we already had working speech synthesis close to the time of Star Wars (TI 99/4A, Speak and Spell, others in 1978/79). Heck, even some of the Star Wars arcade games in the early 80s could talk. :)
quote]
Correction, they cold play sound files of a sort that sounded like speech. They could not compose a sentence on thier own.

Demigrog
2005-Feb-08, 04:55 PM
Correction, they cold play sound files of a sort that sounded like speech. They could not compose a sentence on thier own.

They worked by playing back highly compressed sound clips of each phoneme sound; stringing the phonemes together into sentences was the job of the software on the computer. The poor quality of the speech was due to the low quality of the compressed sound clips and the unsophisticated methods of appending the phonemes. So, they could easily speak a text sentence, though they sounded even less human and emotional than my Statistics professor in college.

The technology to do this was actually developed in the early 60s; by the late 70s it was being mass produced.

R.A.F. II
2005-Feb-21, 08:52 PM
On a side note to the languages actually spoken in the original Star Wars, some of them were taken almost directly from languages currently used.

I was watching A New Hope with a friend and she said that there were many sentences spoken (in the cantina scene, I believe) that were almost completely Polish. And here I was thinking that Lucas had made all of it up...

I guess it doesnt really matter... I cannot speak Polish, so its still alien to me :)

Clapton5Fan
2005-Jun-19, 07:58 PM
Wow, interesting how a topic about languages winds up being about books! I find that very interesting. Anyway...

I compare the "English" spoken in Star Wars to the Common Tongue used in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. I mean, for all we know, "My name is Erik, and I like cheese" in Common could very well be "Ish manst Erik martaki, limpars tu samardi mamburi". We don't know what the true Common Tongue sounds like, but as it's a language everyone in that particular world should know, it's therefore translated to a language everyone in the audience would know, thus we hear it as "English".

Anyway, when you think about how Han can understand Chewie, and how Chewie can understand Han, it's merely a matter of being able to form the correct words in that language. Think of a human speaking to a dog. The human speaks English (or whatever their native tongue would be), and the dog hears it and understands what it means. That doesn't mean that the dog can therefore speak English back to the human. Now, I know that the dog would have been trained, and would have associated certain vocal sounds (ie. words) with a certain action (ie. "Sit"), but it still understands basically what you're trying to tell it.

Now for droids, mainly R2 units. The droids were programmed to to different functions, such as how R2-D2 can upload and download data to and from a computer. They also have to have some form of communication, so they can "communicate" with the computers, and thusly also with other R2 units. This would be the beeping noise they make. They only have the right "sound card" to produce beeps, so as to why they cannot speak other languages, mainly common. True, they could be programmed just like protocol droids (ie. C-3PO), and be able to understand many different languages, but it comes back to the sound card, and how they can only speak in the beeps.

That kind of explains protocol droids, such as C-3PO, who can understand many different languages as well. Being such a droid, programmed with a vocal "sound card", they can understand and speak these languages. But most don't have the right card to speak in R2 beeps, so they likewise can't speak R2.

Now, like Han speaking Common to Jabba, and Jabba replying in Huttese, Jabba is in such a high position as to where he doesn't have to speak Common, as many of his "council members" or whatever, as well as those he would have associated with, would most likely understand Huttese. Han, therefore, understands Huttese. But he doesn't speak it. I think that also has a good explanation. Think of yourself. Have you ever heard a word spoken to you, maybe very slowly, and then when you try to say it, you still can't pronounce it, even after having heard it spoken to you? This could very well be the case with Han not speaking Huttese.

In a story I'm writing (which is totally unrelated to Star Wars, by the way), the main character, Tyn, is able to understand the language Moblish perfectly fine, while he cannot pronounce any of the words correctly. Likewise, another character, Karshizka, who is a native Moblish speaker, can understand Common just as easily, but he also cannot form the words correctly. So they can easily have a converstation with Tyn speaking Common and Karshizka speaking Moblish, where they can both understand each other, but still cannot speak the other's respective language.

There you go, my two cents thrown in there. I hope I didn't forget anything. ;-)

Dickenmeyer
2005-Jun-22, 12:09 AM
The obvious answer...Babelfish.