This came about because South African actor John Kani, a native of the Eastern Cape province who plays Wakandan King T'Chaka, is Xhosa and suggested that the directors of the fictional Civil War incorporate a dialogue in the language. As of 2003[update] approximately 5.3 million Xhosa-speakers, the majority, live in the Eastern Cape, followed by the Western Cape (approximately 2 million), Gauteng (671,045), the Free State (246,192), KwaZulu-Natal (219,826), North West (214,461), Mpumalanga (46,553), the Northern Cape (51,228), and Limpopo (14,225). T’Chaka’s actor Kani is actually African and knew a genuine african language Xhosa from South Africa. Despite Wakanda being an isolated country hundreds of miles away from Coogler’s native Oakland, Wakanda is still a place where sisters can prank their big brothers. Whenever /w/ follows a labial consonant, it changes to /j/, which then triggers palatalisation of the consonant. South African veteran actor John Kani was highly responsible for IsiXhosa … In keeping with many other Southern Bantu languages, Xhosa is an agglutinative language, with an array of prefixes and suffixes that are attached to root words. Tones are rarely marked in the written language, but they can be indicated a [à], á [á], â [áà], ä [àá]. Xhosa is rich in uncommon consonants. Fricatives become affricates. Only phonemic, and thus reflected orthographically, for. It’s one of the way the much anticipated Black Panther … Constructed language (conglang) is a consciously created language that resembles human or human-like conversation. Aspirated clicks become prenasalized ejected clicks. During the trip, Coogler befriended a hotel employee, who invited Coogler to his hometown of Gugulethu, which was full of Xhosa speakers. The best-known performer of Xhosa songs outside South Africa was Miriam Makeba, whose Click Song #1 (Xhosa Qongqothwane) and "Click Song #2" (Baxabene Ooxam) are known for their large number of click sounds. When plain voiceless clicks (c, x, q) are prenasalized, they become slack voiced nasal (ngc, ngx, ngq). J.R.R.Tolkien for example has constructed various languages since 1910, such as Quenya, Sindarin and Taliska among the many Elven and Middle Earth languages for his Legendarium, including ”The Lord of the Rings.” You mig… Fricatives become affricated and, if voiceless, they become ejectives as well, at least with some speakers: mf is pronounced [ɱp̪fʼ], ndl is pronounced [ndɮ], n+hl becomes ntl [ntɬʼ], n+z becomes ndz [ndz], etc. Hlubi is the dialect in the former Ciskei; there is the more distinct Hlubi language further north, where Xhosa meets SeSotho. It has 18 click consonants (in comparison, Juǀ'hoan, spoken in Botswana and Namibia, has 48, and Taa, with roughly 4,000 speakers in Botswana, has 83). As in other Bantu languages, nouns in Xhosa are classified into morphological classes, or genders (15 in Xhosa), with different prefixes for both singular and plural. [8][9] Xhosa is spoken as a first language by approximately 8.2 million people and by another 11 million as a second language in South Africa, mostly in Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Gauteng and Northern Cape. The onset cluster /kl/ from phonologized loanwords such as, The unwritten glottal stop is present in words like, This page was last edited on 8 January 2021, at 14:01. Valiant efforts paid off, however, as the use of Xhosa adds an extra dimension of authenticity to the fictional world of Wakanda. For Black Panther, the actors learned is isiXhosa, a Buntu language characterized by click consonants. The current national anthem of South Africa, starts with the first two lines in Xhosa, with the next two lines translated into Zulu but almost identical to the Xhosa version. The story behind the language spoken in 'Black Panther' Xhosa, known affectionately as the 'click click language,' takes its name from a people in mostly southern Africa … Agreements usually reflect part of the original class with which the word agrees. Verbs use the following prefixes for the subject and object: The following is a list of phrases that can be used when one visits a region whose primary language is Xhosa: Xhosa-speaking people have inhabited coastal regions of southeastern Africa since before the 16th century. Xhosa Culture Learn Xhosa Language | history | Customs & more facebook; twitter; google_plus; Email; Xhosa Culture Browsing tag. [12][13], Xhosa is the most widely distributed African language in South Africa, though the most widely spoken African language is Zulu. Kani believed having them speak an African language to one another instead of English was more authentic and there you go. Additional phonemes are using sequences of multiple letters. [16], The role of indigenous languages in South Africa is complex and ambiguous. The murmured clicks, plosives and affricates are only partially voiced, with the following vowel murmured for some speakers. Coogler was further inspired when he took a personal trip to South Africa prior to shooting Black Panther, where he befriended local people who spoke Xhosa. In the Marvel Universe, Wakanda exists as an isolated country that thrives thanks to its exclusive rights to the space mineral vibranium. For the movie Black Panther, the actors learned isiXhosa, which was their remake of Xhosa. John Bennie was a Scottish Presbyterian missionary and early Xhosa linguist. For Black Panther, the actors learned is isiXhosa, a Buntu language characterized by click consonants. Their use in education has been governed by legislation, beginning with the Bantu Education Act, 1953.[12]. Wakanda Is a Fake Country, but the African Language in ‘Black Panther’ Is Real Women in their traditional Xhosa attire in Durban, South Africa. “It was a life-changing experience,” he told Rolling Stone. A language that involves clicking noises. The orthographic b in mb is the voiced plosive [mb]. The various parts of the sentence must agree in both class and number.[12]. So many of the scenes between us, we added a word or two in isiXhosa. But, as with any language, Xhosa had a rich history of oral traditions from which the society taught, informed, and entertained one another. Maho (2009) lists Mpondo (Pondo), Xesibe, Bomvana, Gaika (Ngqika), Gcaleka, Thembu, Mpondomise, Ndlambe, and Hlubi.[4]. Xhosa has an inventory of ten vowels: [a], [ɛ~e], [i], [ɔ~o] and [u] written a, e, i, o and u in order, all occurring in both long and short. RELATED: Black Panther's Suit Got Serious Upgrades After Civil War Thanks to Black Widow "The language we used for Wakandan is called Xhosa. They are truly voiced only after nasals, but the oral occlusion is then very short in stops, and it usually does not occur at all in clicks. When aspirated clicks (ch, xh, qh) are prenasalised, the silent letter k is added (nkc, nkx, nkq) to prevent confusion with the nasal clicks nc, nx, nq, and are actually distinct sounds. [14] There is a small but significant Xhosa community of about 200,000 in Zimbabwe. (They may also be voiced between vowels in some speaking styles.) (eds), These are analogous to the slack-voice nasals, "Xhosa alphabet, pronunciation and language", "isiNdebele for beginners. The idea to use isiXhosa, one of South Africa's 11 official languages, in Black Panther came from South African actor and cast member John Kani who plays the father of the king T'Challa. That is, da may be pronounced [dʱa̤] (or, equivalently, [d̥a̤]). isiXhosa, the Language of Wakanda: Black Panther Unpacked #3 South African audiences must have felt a certain kind of wonder and excitement when they first heard the elegant language of their very own Xhosa people spoken by the Wakandans. [16], Called isiXhosa sengingqi ('local Xhosa'), Xhosa has several dialects. Even the foundation of Nobel Peace Prize-winner and anti-apartheid activist Desmond Tutu, who rarely makes public statements these days at the age of 86, pointed out this week on Twitter: “Archbishop Tutu comes from a #Xhosa background as well.” They are better described as slack voiced than as breathy voiced. Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika is part of the national anthem of South Africa, national anthem of Tanzania and Zambia, and the former anthem of Zimbabwe and Namibia. “The language we used for Wakandan is called Xhosa,” Civil War co-director Joe Russo said to EW. Wakanda. The /i/ vowel will be long in the penultimate syllable and short in the last syllable.[17]. Xhosa is part of the branch of Nguni languages known as Zunda languages, which also include Zulu, Southern Ndebele and Northern Ndebele. Director Ryan Coogler was inspired to use Xhosa for two reasons. iliso (eye), uluhlu (list). Therefore, with the help of his son, who eventually took over the duties, they taught Chadwick Boseman and the cast how to “speak” the language. But as the world gets to know Wakanda, some may wonder what language inspired the Wakandan tongue heard in the film. AmaXhosa – Southern Ngunis. While palatalisation occurred historically, it is still productive, as is shown by palatalization before the passive suffix /-w/. Nguni languages are, in turn, part of the much larger group of Bantu languages. “The language we used for Wakandan is called Xhosa,” Civil War co-director Joe Russo said to EW. Using the prefixes, nouns can be grouped into noun classes, which are numbered consecutively, to ease comparison with other Bantu languages. That connection between Africans and the African diaspora enocuraged Coogler in his portrayal of Wakanda in Black Panther. The first Bible translation was in 1859, produced in part by Henry Hare Dugmore. Palatalisation is a change that affects labial consonants whenever they are immediately followed by /j/. A conglang has vocabulary, grammar and phonology that are the same as a natural language. The Xhosa language employs 26 letters from the Latin alphabet. The breathy voiced glottal fricative [ɦ] is sometimes spelled h. The ejectives tend to be ejective only in careful pronunciation or in salient positions and, even then, only for some speakers. The film Black Panther instead, used the already existing South African Xhosa language, which is also the native tongue of Nelson Mandela, as the language of the Wakandan people. We’re happy to answer any questions … Others call constructed language as invented, planned or artificial language. In 1996[update], the literacy rate for first-language Xhosa speakers was estimated at 50%.[16]. Their use in education has been governed by legislation, beginning with the Bantu Education Act, 1953. Now, in the wake of “Black Panther,” the language is having a moment. “Ryan and I went back-and-forth and talked about it, and I said it just makes sense,” said Beth McGuire, the dialect coach of Black Panther, in an interview with Slate. “The clicks are no joke,” Lupita Nyong’o, who stars in the film as Nakia, told the Associated Press. The verb is modified by affixes to mark subject, object, tense, aspect and mood. This language was later revealed as Xhosa and is constantly used in the stand–alone Black Panther movie. Xhosa is the English-given name for both the language and the people who speak the Xhosa language, distinguished by those speakers as AmaXhosa for the people, and isiXhosa for the language itself. It is a Methodist hymn written in Xhosa by Enoch Sontonga in 1897. Xhosa is, to some extent, mutually intelligible with Zulu and Northern Ndebele, and other Nguni languages to a lesser extent. John Kani, the actor who plays T’Challa’s father in the movie, speaks the language and taught it to Chadwick. Human translations with examples: mnyama, umbala, ingcuka, iibhloko, ndiyoyika, clonetype, ecaleni kwe. Xhosa /ˈkɔːsə, ˈkoʊsə/[5][6][7] (Xhosa: [ᵏǁʰɔsa]),[missing tone] also isiXhosa, is a Nguni Bantu language and one of the official languages of South Africa and Zimbabwe. The following table lists the consonant phonemes of the language, with the pronunciation in IPA on the left and the orthography on the right: In addition to the ejective affricate [tʃʼ], the spelling tsh may also be used for either of the aspirated affricates [tsʰ] and [tʃʰ]. The more notable characteristic is their depressor effect on the tone of the syllable.[21]. 2002. Otherwise, they tend to be tenuis (plain) stops. In those same interviews, he also shared how Black Panther was extra special for him, because of the fact that Xhosa was part of it: “And it was extra special for … Noun (1) a large spotted feline of tropical America similar to the leopard; in some classifications considered a member of the genus Felis (2) a leopard in the black color phase (3) large American feline resembling a lion. Marvel’s Black Panther is a bonafide cultural phenomenon, with a current worldwide gross of over $700 million in just two weeks. It’s also very difficult to learn, and the actors of Black Panther noted that it was difficult to pick up during shooting. Danai Gurira at the South African premiere of Black Panther. Moreover, Xhosa does not generally tolerate sequences of a labial consonant plus /w/. 3 The placeholder N in the prefixes iN- and iiN- for m, n or no letter at all. Therefore, the absolute duration of voicing is the same as in tenuis stops. Aarons & Reynolds, 2003, "South African Sign Language", in Monaghan, ed., The following languages, namely Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda, and Xhosa are the officially recognised languages of Zimbabwe. There are moments and words that are dropped all over the place to locate that these people’s indigenous language is not English. The murmur no longer shifts to the following vowel. No change when the following consonant is itself a nasal. The decision for Black Panther to speak Xhosa was quite a big one not just for Captain America: Civil War, but for the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, too. John and Athandwa Kan i were the main language consultants on Black Panther. The prenasalized versions have a very short voicing at the onset which then releases in an ejective, like the prenasalized affricates, while the phonemically nasal clicks have a very long voicing through the consonant. 1 Before monosyllabic stems, e.g. “I found out that his tribe – he was Xhosa – the rituals they do are very similar to things I do with my family. Besides pulmonic egressive sounds, which are found in all spoken languages, it has a series of ejective stops and one implosive stop. It has perhaps the heaviest functional load of click consonants in a Bantu language (approximately tied with Yeyi), with one count finding that 10% of basic vocabulary items contained a click.[10]. Yes, Africa has its problems but what Black Panther seems to showcase so well is the spirit of African people. Xhosa is a tonal Nguni Bantu language, part of the Niger-Congo language family, that uses Latin for its alphabet, and has a signed form of the language as well as Xhosa braille. Approximately 19 million people in the world speak Xhosa, and it’s recognized as one of the 11 official languages of South Africa, and one of the 16 languages of Zimbabwe. Another reason the Black Panther team decided on using Xhosa as Wakanda's official language has to do with one of the movie's central actors. [22] The Bantu ancestor of Xhosa did not have clicks, which attests to a strong historical contact with a San language that did. Why we care: The Wakandan language we hear characters speaking in Black Panther is totally real. For Black Panther, director Ryan Coogler "wanted to make it a priority to use Xhosa as much as possible" in the script, and provided dialect coaches for the film's actors. 2 is- and iz- replace isi- and izi- respectively before stems beginning with a vowel, e.g. It’s also really hard to learn, according to the film’s actors, but the importance of an authentic African language in a blockbuster superhero movie cannot be underestimated. The word order is subject–verb–object, like in English. The first was actor John Kani, who played T’Chaka in Captain America: Civil War and reprised the role in Black Panther. Xhosa culture shines on Black Panther movie premiere Read more Home; About Us. ... what the Wakandans speak is actually Xhosa, the language of … The South African Broadcasting Corporation broadcasts in Xhosa on both radio (on Umhlobo Wenene FM) and television, and films, plays and music are also produced in the language. (Native speakers, of course, insist it’s easier than it seems.) See Sands & Gunnink (2019) "Clicks on the fringes of the Kalahari Basin Area." But those who speak the South African language of Xhosa know that what Noah actually said was "white people don't know I'm lying." isandla/izandla (hand/hands). Long vowels are phonemic but are usually not written except for â and ä, which are each sequences of two vowels with different tones that are realized as long vowels with contour tones (â high–low = falling, ä low–high = rising). The decision to have Xhosa be the official language of Wakanda was solidified by Chad, a … Northern Ndebele language in Africa", "South Africa Population grows to 44.8 Million", "Isixhosa Ulwimi Lwabantu Abangesosininzi eZimbabwe: Ukuphila Nokulondolozwa Kwaso", "Wakanda Is a Fake Country, but the African Language in 'Black Panther' is Real", Xhosa basic lexicon at the Global Lexicostatistical Database, Commission for Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Community Rights, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Xhosa_language&oldid=999100104, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2003, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Articles needing examples from December 2018, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 1996, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. I guess you could say that it just clicked in as a natural fit. They refer to themselves as the amaXhosa and their language as Xhosa. Xhosa culture shines on Black Panther movie premiere By XhosaCulture on February 7, 2018 Social media has been on cloud nine following the much-anticipated premiere of Hollywood’s 2018 Marvel superhero film “Black Panther” in late January 2018. Contextual translation of "black panther" into Xhosa. When consonants are prenasalised, their pronunciation and spelling may change. The language is also studied as a subject. “And I realized, ‘Oh yeah – African-Americans truly are African. Like, almost identical,” Coogler described. The following table gives an overview of Xhosa noun classes, arranged according to singular-plural pairs. l(. The on-screen spoken language of the kingdom of Wakanda is isiXhosa, the melodic South African language known for its distinctive clicks. [15] Also, a small community of Xhosa speakers (18,000) live in Quthing District, Lesotho. There was a scene where Tchaka and Tchalla talk in private. (In fact, to correctly pronounce “Xhosa,” the “X” begins with a click.) Prenasalisation occurs in several contexts, including on roots with the class 9 prefix /iN-/, for example on an adjective which is feature-matching its noun: /iN- + ɬɛ/ → [intɬɛ] "beautiful" (of a class 9 word like inja "dog"). All about Xhosa, the real language that Wakandans speak in 'Black Panther.'. About XhosaCulture.co.za; Xhosa People; History. [12] It is the second most common Bantu home language in South Africa as a whole. This language however was difficult for the actors to learn. In Clem et al. Xhosa is a tonal language with two inherent phonemic tones: low and high. An estimated 15% of Xhosa vocabulary is of San origin. Surprisingly, John Kani, the actor who played T’Chaka, is a speaker of Xhosa. The language of instruction at universities in South Africa is English or Afrikaans, and Xhosa is taught as a subject, both for native and for non-native speakers. The influence came from John Kani, the actor who plays Black Panther’s father. The original stanza was: Additional stanzas were written later by Sontonga and other writers, with the original verse translated into Sotho and Afrikaans, as well as English. Various parts of speech that qualify a noun must agree with the noun according to its gender. “There were a couple of days where our cast gave us the side eye,” executive producer Nate Moore told the New York Times. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela. “If that’s who you started with, that’s your king of Wakanda, that’s who it is, that’s the language.”. The Xhosa noun consists of two essential parts, the prefix and the stem. [16] In the modern period, it has also borrowed, slightly, from both Afrikaans and English. Kani is a native of South Africa who speaks Xhosa. There is a series of six dental clicks, represented by the letter ⟨c⟩, similar to the sound represented in English by "tut-tut" or "tsk-tsk"; a series of six alveolar lateral clicks, represented by the letter ⟨x⟩, similar to the sound used to call horses; and a series of alveolar clicks, represented by the letter ⟨q⟩, that sound somewhat like a cork pulled from a bottle. "Language in South Africa: the role of language in national transformation, reconstruction and development.". (In fact, to correctly pronounce “Xhosa,” the “X” begins with a click.) [11] Zunda languages effectively form a dialect continuum of variously mutually intelligible varieties. John Kani, the … However, some of the letters have a different pronunciation than as in English. [23], Proportion of the South African population that speaks Xhosa at home, Webb, Vic. “They got lines that morning.”. At present, Xhosa is used as the main language of instruction in many primary schools and some secondary schools, but is largely replaced by English after the early primary grades, even in schools mainly serving Xhosa-speaking communities. Literary works, including prose and poetry, are available in Xhosa, as are newspapers and magazines. James tries to learn Xhosa in Cape Town, and hears why its important for people there. BBC Correspondent Pumza Fihlani who is a native speaker of Xhosa, very graciously offered a quick tutorial of useful phrases that may come in handy should one find themselves in Wakanda. Now when I was cast to play again in the Black Panther I had already been asked what or how would you say this in Xhosa. It takes a lot more than what happened to us to take that out of us.’”. Tone, stress and vowel length are not indicated. The role of indigenous languages in South Africa is complex and ambiguous. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther, the language spoken in the fictional African nation of Wakanda is Xhosa.

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