AmaXhosa – Southern Ngunis. "Language in South Africa: the role of language in national transformation, reconstruction and development.". Itâs also really hard to learn, according to the filmâs actors, but the importance of an authentic African language in a blockbuster superhero movie cannot be underestimated. Maho (2009) lists Mpondo (Pondo), Xesibe, Bomvana, Gaika (Ngqika), Gcaleka, Thembu, Mpondomise, Ndlambe, and Hlubi.. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela. John Kani, the … Constructed language (conglang) is a consciously created language that resembles human or human-like conversation. The first was actor John Kani, who played TâChaka in Captain America: Civil War and reprised the role in Black Panther. Contextual translation of "black panther" into Xhosa. Surprisingly, John Kani, the actor who played T’Chaka, is a speaker of Xhosa. Additional phonemes are using sequences of multiple letters. The verb is modified by affixes to mark subject, object, tense, aspect and mood. The murmur no longer shifts to the following vowel. Nguni languages are, in turn, part of the much larger group of Bantu languages. About XhosaCulture.co.za; Xhosa People; History. But as the world gets to know Wakanda, some may wonder what language inspired the Wakandan tongue heard in the film. Marvelâs Black Panther is a bonafide cultural phenomenon, with a current worldwide gross of over $700 million in just two weeks. 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]). , Proportion of the South African population that speaks Xhosa at home, Webb, Vic. That connection between Africans and the African diaspora enocuraged Coogler in his portrayal of Wakanda in Black Panther. For Black Panther, the actors learned is isiXhosa, a Buntu language characterized by click consonants. Besides pulmonic egressive sounds, which are found in all spoken languages, it has a series of ejective stops and one implosive stop. Xhosa is a tonal language with two inherent phonemic tones: low and high. Hlubi is the dialect in the former Ciskei; there is the more distinct Hlubi language further north, where Xhosa meets SeSotho. Wakanda. 3 The placeholder N in the prefixes iN- and iiN- for m, n or no letter at all. 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. There are moments and words that are dropped all over the place to locate that these people’s indigenous language is not English. Similarly, the tenuis (plain) clicks are often glottalised, with a long voice onset time, but that is uncommon. 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. Wakanda Is a Fake Country, but the African Language in ‘Black Panther’ Is Real Women in their traditional Xhosa attire in Durban, South Africa. âIt was a life-changing experience,â he told Rolling Stone. Like, almost identical,â Coogler described. Their use in education has been governed by legislation, beginning with the Bantu Education Act, 1953. It’s one of the way the much anticipated Black Panther … John Kani, the actor who plays T’Challa’s father in the movie, speaks the language and taught it to Chadwick. For the movie Black Panther, the actors learned isiXhosa, which was their remake of Xhosa. iliso (eye), uluhlu (list). Danai Gurira at the South African premiere of Black Panther. While palatalisation occurred historically, it is still productive, as is shown by palatalization before the passive suffix /-w/. Using the prefixes, nouns can be grouped into noun classes, which are numbered consecutively, to ease comparison with other Bantu languages. 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. 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.  There is a small but significant Xhosa community of about 200,000 in Zimbabwe. 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. When plain voiceless clicks (c, x, q) are prenasalized, they become slack voiced nasal (ngc, ngx, ngq). However, some of the letters have a different pronunciation than as in English. Aspirated clicks become prenasalized ejected clicks. Human translations with examples: mnyama, umbala, ingcuka, iibhloko, ndiyoyika, clonetype, ecaleni kwe. No change when the following consonant is itself a nasal. An estimated 15% of Xhosa vocabulary is of San origin. In the Marvel Universe, Wakanda exists as an isolated country that thrives thanks to its exclusive rights to the space mineral vibranium. l(. 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. 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. 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. (They may also be voiced between vowels in some speaking styles.) Kani believed having them speak an African language to one another instead of English was more authentic and there you go. So many of the scenes between us, we added a word or two in isiXhosa. âAnd I realized, âOh yeah â African-Americans truly are African. Yes, Africa has its problems but what Black Panther seems to showcase so well is the spirit of African people. Xhosa is, to some extent, mutually intelligible with Zulu and Northern Ndebele, and other Nguni languages to a lesser extent. 1 Before monosyllabic stems, e.g. The language is also studied as a subject. 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. But, as with any language, Xhosa had a rich history of oral traditions from which the society taught, informed, and entertained one another. A conglang has vocabulary, grammar and phonology that are the same as a natural language.  The Bantu ancestor of Xhosa did not have clicks, which attests to a strong historical contact with a San language that did. It takes a lot more than what happened to us to take that out of us.ââ. 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. 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. They are better described as slack voiced than as breathy voiced. This language however was difficult for the actors to learn. Xhosa is rich in uncommon consonants. A language that involves clicking noises. 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. Whenever /w/ follows a labial consonant, it changes to /j/, which then triggers palatalisation of the consonant. This language was later revealed as Xhosa and is constantly used in the stand–alone Black Panther movie. 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 … 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.  In the modern period, it has also borrowed, slightly, from both Afrikaans and English. South African veteran actor John Kani was highly responsible for IsiXhosa … Still, it was a process during shooting, where last-minute edits to the script would have the actors unlearning what they just learned. 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]. 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. “The language we used for Wakandan is called Xhosa,” Civil War co-director Joe Russo said to EW. Xhosa Culture Learn Xhosa Language | history | Customs & more facebook; twitter; google_plus; Email; Xhosa Culture Browsing tag. That’s because the language of Wakanda, is largely Xhosa. 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. RELATED: Black Panther's Suit Got Serious Upgrades After Civil War Thanks to Black Widow "The language we used for Wakandan is called Xhosa. The more notable characteristic is their depressor effect on the tone of the syllable.. It is a Methodist hymn written in Xhosa by Enoch Sontonga in 1897. Xhosa /ˈkɔːsə, ˈkoʊsə/ (Xhosa: [ᵏǁʰɔsa]),[missing tone] also isiXhosa, is a Nguni Bantu language and one of the official languages of South Africa and Zimbabwe. 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… 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. At least 19 million people, in South Africa and combined with other countries, speak Xhosa. 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. 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. , Called isiXhosa sengingqi ('local Xhosa'), Xhosa has several dialects. I guess you could say that it just clicked in as a natural fit. Only phonemic, and thus reflected orthographically, for. 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. (In fact, to correctly pronounce âXhosa,â the âXâ begins with a click.) Kani is a native of South Africa who speaks 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. The word order is subject–verb–object, like in English. 2002. âIf thatâs who you started with, thatâs your king of Wakanda, thatâs who it is, thatâs the language.â. In 1996[update], the literacy rate for first-language Xhosa speakers was estimated at 50%.. 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. The language of Black Panther is indeed a real tongue, spoken by millions of people. (eds), These are analogous to the slack-voice nasals, "Xhosa alphabet, pronunciation and language", "isiNdebele for beginners. During the trip, Coogler befriended a hotel employee, who invited Coogler to his hometown of Gugulethu, which was full of Xhosa speakers. Despite Wakanda being an isolated country hundreds of miles away from Cooglerâs native Oakland, Wakanda is still a place where sisters can prank their big brothers. All of that being said, we are a friendly, honest company, based in London, UK, and this document is far scarier than we are! T’Chaka’s actor Kani is actually African and knew a genuine african language Xhosa from South Africa. 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). 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. 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. Tone, stress and vowel length are not indicated. There was a scene where Tchaka and Tchalla talk in private. ... what the Wakandans speak is actually Xhosa, the language of … “The language we used for Wakandan is called Xhosa,” Civil War co-director Joe Russo said to EW. 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.” The various parts of the sentence must agree in both class and number.. 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." The following table gives an overview of Xhosa noun classes, arranged according to singular-plural pairs. The influence came from John Kani, the actor who plays Black Panther’s father. 2 is- and iz- replace isi- and izi- respectively before stems beginning with a vowel, e.g. The decision to have Xhosa be the official language of Wakanda was solidified by Chad, a …  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. Now, in the wake of “Black Panther,” the language is having a moment. The on-screen spoken language of the kingdom of Wakanda is isiXhosa, the melodic South African language known for its distinctive clicks. The orthographic b in mb is the voiced plosive [mb]. The murmured clicks, plosives and affricates are only partially voiced, with the following vowel murmured for some speakers. 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. Xhosa is part of the branch of Nguni languages known as Zunda languages, which also include Zulu, Southern Ndebele and Northern Ndebele. Xhosa culture shines on Black Panther movie premiere Read more Home; About Us. 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. The /i/ vowel will be long in the penultimate syllable and short in the last syllable.. 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. They refer to themselves as the amaXhosa and their language as Xhosa. 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. Bennie, along with John Ross (another missionary), set up a printing press in the Tyhume Valley and the first printed works in Xhosa came out in 1823 from the Lovedale Press in the Alice region of the Eastern Cape.  Also, a small community of Xhosa speakers (18,000) live in Quthing District, Lesotho. âThere were a couple of days where our cast gave us the side eye,â executive producer Nate Moore told the New York Times. Itâs also very difficult to learn, and the actors of Black Panther noted that it was difficult to pick up during shooting. âThe clicks are no joke,â Lupita Nyongâo, who stars in the film as Nakia, told the Associated Press. 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.. (In fact, to correctly pronounce “Xhosa,” the “X” begins with a click.) 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. The Xhosa noun consists of two essential parts, the prefix and the stem. The first Bible translation was in 1859, produced in part by Henry Hare Dugmore. 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. Otherwise, they tend to be tenuis (plain) stops. Agreements usually reflect part of the original class with which the word agrees. The Xhosa language employs 26 letters from the Latin alphabet. 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. 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). , Xhosa is the most widely distributed African language in South Africa, though the most widely spoken African language is Zulu. We’re happy to answer any questions … When consonants are prenasalised, their pronunciation and spelling may change. (Native speakers, of course, insist itâs easier than it seems.)  Zunda languages effectively form a dialect continuum of variously mutually intelligible varieties. Tones are rarely marked in the written language, but they can be indicated a [à], á [á], â [áà], ä [àá]. âI found out that his tribe â he was Xhosa â the rituals they do are very similar to things I do with my family. 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. isandla/izandla (hand/hands). In Clem et al. Palatalisation is a change that affects labial consonants whenever they are immediately followed by /j/. Their use in education has been governed by legislation, beginning with the Bantu Education Act, 1953.. See Sands & Gunnink (2019) "Clicks on the fringes of the Kalahari Basin Area." 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 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. The role of indigenous languages in South Africa is complex and ambiguous. Therefore, the absolute duration of voicing is the same as in tenuis stops. 4 Before monosyllabic stems in some words. Fricatives become affricates. 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. John and Athandwa Kan i were the main language consultants on Black Panther. 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).  It is the second most common Bantu home language in South Africa as a whole. 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. AmaXhosa migrated to the east coast of Africa and came across Khoisan-speaking people; "as a result of this contact, the Xhosa people borrowed some Khoisan words along with their pronunciation, for instance, the click sounds of the Khoisan languages". 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. , The role of indigenous languages in South Africa is complex and ambiguous. Literary works, including prose and poetry, are available in Xhosa, as are newspapers and magazines. Director Ryan Coogler was inspired to use Xhosa for two reasons. Approximately 19 million people in the world speak Xhosa, and itâs recognized as one of the 11 official languages of South Africa, and one of the 16 languages of Zimbabwe. âThey got lines that morning.â. Various parts of speech that qualify a noun must agree with the noun according to its gender. âRyan and I went back-and-forth and talked about it, and I said it just makes sense,â said Beth McGuire, the dialect coach of Black Panther, in an interview with Slate. Valiant efforts paid off, however, as the use of Xhosa adds an extra dimension of authenticity to the fictional world of Wakanda. Others call constructed language as invented, planned or artificial language. 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 … All about Xhosa, the real language that Wakandans speak in 'Black Panther.'. John Kani, who plays King T'Chaka in … Moreover, Xhosa does not generally tolerate sequences of a labial consonant plus /w/. James tries to learn Xhosa in Cape Town, and hears why its important for people there. 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"). Unlike majority of the Black Panther cast.
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