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Learn Aurebesh for May the 4th

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Have you seen lots of signs in an alien language while walking around Galaxy’s Edge or watching the Star Wars movies? Psst, wanna know a secret? It’s not an alien language at all! It’s Galactic Basic, also known as English. It’s written in a different alphabet, but it’s not too hard to learn to read.

This “foreign language” on a water bottle from Galaxy’s Edge isn’t that foreign. The letters spell out “Dasani”.

Once you do, you’ll find fun Easter Eggs all over Galaxy’s Edge. Like what you say? Well, like the sign on top of this article. That little plaque is affixed to a water fountain, but if you read the text it says: “WARNING. This water is not safe to consume for most lifeforms. Please drink with caution.” (Good thing humans aren’t “most lifeforms”, huh?)

How to Start Learning Aurebesh

The first thing you will need is examples of Aurebesh characters side-by-side with the “regular” alphabet. I was lucky enough to journey on the Galactic Starcruiser when it was still running, and it was a great place to do this because most of the signs were in both sets of glyphs.

Side-by-side renderings make for easy practice

If you’re visiting Batuu (Galaxy’s Edge), you won’t find as many labels like this. That’s because it’s meant to be a local space, not one that assumes visitors need help with translating. I like to start with a regular old letter chart to learn the most common letters.

A chart showing the Aurebesh alphabet and the corresponding regular letters

The letters that will help you the most to get started are the ones that appear the most frequently in the English language. That’s

  • E – just looks so weird you’ll get the hang of it quickly
  • T – kinda like the regular one, but upside down
  • A – another one that’s just unique
  • O – actually looks like the regular O, mostly
  • N – kinda like an N, you almost don’t notice that it’s upside down
  • S – I like to remember this one by thinking that it’s like a Starburst
  • I – looks a bit like the number 1
  • R – looks a bit like a backwards lower-case R

Mastering those eight letters will go a long way, because you’ll be able to guess at a lot of the missing letters in words that you might see. It’s a bit like playing hangman as you walk around, and you’ll have some context clues based on where you see the text.

Now you can practice by walking around in Galaxy’s Edge and trying to translate what you see. As a fallback, you can use the Datapad app in Play Disney Parks to translate signage that you find around Galaxy’s Edge. Or, you can google “pocket translator Aurebesh” to find any number of small plastic or metal cards with both alphabets on them to carry around with you. (You can even find a decoder ring on Amazon!) The arrivals and departures board in the Star Tours queue is also a good place to practice as it shifts back and forth between the two character sets.

Once you start to get the hang of it, you’ll probably find that it’s worth a little effort to come up with some memory trick for the letters G, P, and U, which are very similar. Honestly, those are the ones that still give me trouble.

Advanced Learning Techniques

If you really want to dig deep, you can find Aurebesh training apps for your smartphone, or apps that will replace your phone’s keyboard with the Aurebesh equivalent. For desktop computers, there are Aurebesh keyboard covers or stickers to do the same thing. Notice how I’m not linking anything here? That’s because there’s always some of this stuff floating around, but it never seems to be the same stuff with the passage of time. Search engines are your friend.

For immersive Aurebesh training, you can create the kinds of dual labels that were on the Starcruiser in your home. Fontspace has a collection of Star Wars-related fonts, including several Aurebesh fonts. You can download and install many of the fonts as freeware for personal use, or use their try-it-out tool to create an image of a word that you can paste into any app.

Have fun finding new and innovative ways to surprise the whole family with Aurebesh challenges. Torture your kids by making Aurebesh labels for everything in their room. Go! And may the Force be with you.

How fluent are you in Aurebesh? Do you prefer to just let the datapad app translate for you? What’s your favorite Easter Egg that you’ve found in Galaxy’s Edge? Let us know in the comments!

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Jennifer Heymont

Jennifer has a background in math and biology, so she ended up in Data Science where she gets to do both. She lives just north of Boston with her husband, kids, and assorted animal members of the family. Although it took three visits for the Disney bug to "take", she now really wishes she lived a lot closer to the Parks.

2 thoughts on “Learn Aurebesh for May the 4th

  • You taught us how to read it, but can you teach us how to pronounce it?

    • Lol, indeed!


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