Groot is easily the most likable character in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, and if there’s is one thing that makes him special besides being a giant tree, it’s his limited vocabulary. Groot was so far heard speaking only a few words, “I am Groot” or “We are Groot,” which is why fans were shocked with the release of the latest Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 when Groot could be heard saying, “I love you Guys.” So, what was that all about? Does this mean that Groo can speak English now?
Groot can’t speak English. It’s just that we could understand him for the first time. This is the official explanation, as Gunn confirmed on Twitter. Since we have been following Groot for so long, we finally have the ability to understand what he is saying, just like the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy can understand him.
Groot’s “I love you guys “line caught the fans blindsided during one of the most emotional moments in the whole movie, but before we assume that Groot can speak English now, we should check out the official canon explanation as well as the reasons why Groot will never be able to speak English. If you’re interested in more, stay with us and keep reading!
Groot communicates with few words, but he gets the message across
If you’re looking for the best quotes by Groot, don’t bother with it, as he only says a few lines during the whole GotG franchise. He is famous for communicating only with “I am Groot, “but despite that, everyone who spends a lot of time with him can understand him.
In the first movie, Groot’s lines seemed like gibberish at some point until we realized that Rocket Raccoon could understand him perfectly. In the rest of the franchise, we learned that the Guardians of the Galaxy members eventually learned how to understand Groot’s language and that there is a hidden meaning behind every “I am Groot.”
Additionally, we learned from Thor that the language of Groot’s race is an elective course in Asgard and that he can likewise understand him perfectly. To explain this phenomenon, we have to look at Groot’s origin and the physiology of his species.
Groot’s language is tonal, it was never about the words
Groot belongs to a species called Flora colossus, they resemble giant trees or plants in general, and you could easily mistake Groot for a tree because he is one, except that he is sentient. Flora colossus comes from the so-called Planet X, and they are incredibly durable and have a plethora of superhuman abilities. They are also highly intelligent and have a developed civilization and language.
Their language is unique as only a few individuals in the Galaxy have the means to understand it, and to understand Flora colossus and, in turn, Groot, you have to have a trained ear.
The language of Groot and Flora colossus, in general, is tonal in nature. One phrase, such as “I am Groot,” means a lot of things depending on the tone with which Groot pronounces it.
This is why Guardians learned how to recognize individual words after some time. They simply got used to the tone changes in the way that Groot pronounces, “I am Groot.”
Why can’t Groot speak normally?
The answer to this question once again lies in Groot’s physiology. Now that we covered that Groot’s species is hyper-intelligent and that they do indeed possess a rich and unique language to their race, the question is, why can’t Groot learn to communicate using other languages?
It’s because he physically can’t. Groot’s vocal organs are due to his tree-like physiology, extremely stiff, which limits the sounds he can produce to “I am Groot.” It’s not that Groot doesn’t have the mental capacity to speak other languages. He can understand other races perfectly fine; it’s just that he is severely limited because he can’t physically pronounce other words.
This leads us to the next question, how did Groot speak English in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?
Groot didn’t speak English, we were just able to understand the meaning behind “I am Groot”
During the final installment of the GotG franchise, we’ve seen how much Gamora struggled to understand Groot, and at one point, she was convinced that the rest of the Guardians were making up the supposed words he said.
Even though old Gamora was able to understand Groot, it’s understandable that Gamora died and was replaced by a younger Gamora from a different timeline. This Gamora had never met Groot and had no recollection of either his language or his personality, so, understandably, Groot sounded like gibberish to her.
However, in the movie’s final moments, when several Guardians announced that they were leaving the team, during the last hug before the end credits, we could hear Groot saying, “I love you guys.”
So how is this possible? Well, for starters, Groot didn’t magically learn how to speak English; we, in turn, learned how to understand him because we have been following the Guardians for so long that we finally gained the ability to understand his language and became part of his family.
This was the theory that Gizmodo presented in one of their features, and James Gunn officially confirmed it on Twitter.
As you can see, Groot still said, “I am Groot.” The difference is us. We finally got to experience what everybody who could understand Groot had been experiencing this whole time.
It was one of the best and most surprising moments of the whole movie, which went unnoticed by a lot of fans.