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The Circle of the Shepherd druid has the Speech of the Woods feature (XGtE, p. 23):

You learn to speak, read, and write Sylvan. In addition, beasts can understand your speech, and you gain the ability to decipher their noises and motions.

One of the restrictions of the Wild Shape feature is:

You can't cast spells, and your ability to speak or take any action that requires hands is limited to the capabilities of your beast form.

Related question: Can a druid speak while in wild-shape?

Depending how you parse Speech of the Woods, either you can speak Sylvan and beasts can understand you when you speak Sylvan (at which point this question is moot) - or you can speak Sylvan, and separately, beasts can understand your speech, presumably in any language you choose.

So if the druid wild shapes into a wolf, they can only speak "like a wolf" (fairly limited). But they can also decipher the noises and motions of a wolf, and wolves can understand their "speech", however that is defined.

Am I trying too hard to suggest that the druid can communicate with other beasts when in beast form? Or at least other beasts of the same species?

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They are disjoint sentences. “... beasts can understand your speech, and you gain the ability to decipher their noises and motions.” You have this ability.

You can always understand beasts. Your ability to make them understand you is limited by your current form’s speech ability. The definitions of speech all indicate that it is through sound but some further limit this to words. Your agape form can make sounds but not words, your fish form can do neither - you need to ask your DM..

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You may want to specify that the limiting factor by form is predicated on speech \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Dec 8 '18 at 12:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does speech imply and/or require verbal and words? Or can you grunt, caw, hiss, or do whatever spiders do (noises and motions?), and all the other beasts will be able to follow along? \$\endgroup\$ – M. Vienneau Dec 8 '18 at 15:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree that they're disjoint statements, but as OP asks, can you support your claim that "Your ability to make them understand you is limited by your current form." I assume your logic is that any communication in the way that animals normally do doesn't count as "speech"? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Dec 8 '18 at 18:45

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