With the success of Despicable Me (2010) and Despicable Me 2 (2013), the minions made a lasting impression in the heart of millions of fans around the world. The prequel of the series, Minions (2015) aroused curiosity in the minds of the fans because of the diversity of languages spoken by the minions. The language is actually a random mixture of different languages spoken all over the world. Fans are looking for the answer to this question – “What language do the minions speak?”
How was the Minions language “Minionese” created?
The directors of Despicable Me 2, Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, answered the question in one of their interviews. Initially, the vocalizations did not satisfy the directors and Coffin decided to go for a test himself just to come up with a sample. Afterwards, Chris liked the voice very much and decided to go with the experiments of Pierre. The directors was tempted to pick words from everywhere and their plan worked out just fine. We can see that from the opinions of the directors of Minions:
We sort of established that these guys have been around, like, forever, serving masters all over the world and it gave us some sort of license to pick words here and there … Funny words, like in the Japanese language, and the Korean language, Chinese, Italian—and mix everything up to make this very special language that they have.
— Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, directors of the Minions movie
The origin of the words used in “Minionese”
The language spoken by the minions includes words from French, English, Spanish, Hindi and some other languages. A section from the production notes of Despicable Me 2 mentions that the language is just gibberish with random foreign words taken from many sources:
So, these words pop out, and I have them speak Indian, French, English, Spanish and Italian. I mix up all these ridiculous sounding words just because they sound good, not because they necessarily mean something.
— Pierre Coffin
And the curious fact is that the language covers food references as some dishes have universal identity. “There are a lot of food references,” Renaud said. “For example, ‘poulet tiki masala’ is French for the “Indian chicken dish.”
Does the Minions language sound nonsense?
This is an established fact that languages are taken seriously by many people. If we look at Avatar, Land of the Lost or Star Trek, we find out that linguists were hired to construct languages like Na’vi, Pakuni and Klingon. What is the case with Minionese? Does the Minionese derive from some random words taken out of French, English, Spanish, Italian or Hindi? According to the spectators from different nationalities, the Minions use words from Hebrew, Japanese, Filipino, and Indonesian too.
As we can deduce from the popularity of the movie, Coffin’s out of the book experiments worked wonders and the directors decided to make another movie solely based on Minions’ language. Renaud tells us more about his fellow director’s story concerning the movie:
Their language sounds silly, but when you believe that they’re actually communicating, that’s what makes it funnier. What’s great about the Minion language, while it is gibberish, it sounds real because Pierre puts in words from many languages and does the lion’s share of the Minion recordings. There are a lot of food references. For example, ‘poulet tiki masala’ is French for the Indian chicken dish.
— Chris Renaud, the co-director of Despicable Me.
The meanings of certain phrases from Minionese
From the references provided by people from all parts of the world, the following words can be connected to some certain meanings. For example:
- Bi-do : I’m sorry
- Para tú: for you (Originally from Spanish)
- La boda : marriage (Originally from Spanish)
Apparently some English words are used by the Minions without any reformation : ‘OK’, ‘potato’, ‘idiot’ and ‘what’.
Do minions speak Spanish?
People are wondering about to know if minions speak Spanish. Minions language is the combination of different language where you get lots of Spanish words. So, apparently, it’s true that minions speak Spanish sometimes in the movie.
How to speak minionese?
List of some useful phrases that help you know the words of Minions and help you speak the minionese language.
|Thank you||Tank yu|
|Can we start?||Pwede na?|
|For you||Para tu|
|How dare you?||Sa la ka!|
|I hate you||Tatata bala tu|
|Look at you||Luk at tu|
|We love you||Tulaliloo ti amo|
Common Words from Minionese
|Fire||BEE DO BEE DO BEE DO|
|Kiss Kiss||Muak Muak Muak|