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The Language In “Black Panther” Is Totally Real. Here’s How To Speak It

The Language In “Black Panther” Is Totally Real. Here’s How To Speak It
Okoye (Danai Gurira), Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Ayo (Florence Kasumba) in ©Marvel Studios Black Panther, 2018. [Photo: Matt Kennedy/Marvel Studios]

What: A tutorial on how to speak Xhosa, the language spoken by Wakandans in Black Panther.

Who: BBC correspondent Pumza Fihlani.

Why we care: The Wakandan language we hear characters speaking in Black Panther is totally real.

Films and TV shows based in fantasy realms often employ a made-up tongue, like Elvish in The Lord of the Rings or Klingon in Star Trek. However, what the Wakandans speak is actually Xhosa, the language of about 8 million South Africans, including the late Nelson Mandela.

BBC correspondent Pumza Fihlani breaks it all down in a tutorial that won’t make you fluent but might make you appreciate the lyrical beauty of Xhosa.