The history behind the language in 'Black Panther'

Wakandans speak the South African language Xhosa

The history behind the language in 'Black Panther'
Stars Insider

02/03/18 | StarsInsider

MOVIES Black Panther

When it comes to the world of science-fiction, most things are a figment of a writer's imagination. The new Marvel superhero film, 'Black Panther,' however, is rooted in the history and traditions of African nations.

The Wakandan dialect that they speak in the movie is called Xhosa. According to Fast Company, the language originated in South Africa and it is spoken by over eight million South Africans, including the late Nelson Mandela. It is also the official language of Zimbabwe. Xhosa is a Nguni Bantu language and similar to other languages in the region, it is spoken in click tones. 

A television correspondent from BBC News, Pumza Fihlani, created a tutorial video on how to learn some basics of the Xhosa language. While this two-minute video will in no way make you fluent like the on-screen heroes, it is a great way to begin to appreciate the lyrical rhythm that naturally flows with this form of communication.


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