Marvel Studios released a new television spot for the highly-anticipated Avengers: Infinity War today. The spot contained a ton of new footage with a particularly focus on Wakanda, complete with T'Challa and the Wakandan forces chanting before charging into action.
In the new footage -- which you can check out in the video above -- we see the Wakandan forces as lead by T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) just before they run headlong into the fight against Thanos' forces as they invade Wakanda. As they stand there, they are heard chanting. It sounds like they are chanting the word "yibambe", a word with real-world meaning.
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Wakanda is a fictional African nation, the language spoken in it is not. Spoken Wakandan is, in reality, isiXhosa, a Bantu language that is one of the 11 official languages of South Africa and one of the 16 languages of Zimbabwe. Depending upon which translator you use, "yibambe" is either a stand-alone word or part of a couple of phrases -- which include "yibambe icimile" and "yibambe amandala" -- and means "hold off" or "hold fast".
With the Wakandan forces standing ready for battle in the new footage, it makes sense that T'Challa would be having them chant "hold fast". In English, "hold fast" is attributed to be an old nautical term that means to hold tightly to a ship's rigging. The phrase has come to refer to the idea of hanging on even in the face of adversity, to be determined and steadfast. With Thanos and his forces threatening not just the world but the universe, too, being determined is extremely important.
The word can also be heard in Black Panther, uttered by Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) in the scene where T'Challa fights M'Baku (Winston Duke).
The idea that Wakandans speak a real African language brings a deeper layer of authenticity to the fictional nation and the choice to use Xhosa was inspired, in part, by a trip Black Panther director Ryan Coogler took to South Africa prior to shooting the film and by actor John Kani who played T'Chaka in both Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther. Dialect coach Beth McGuire told Slate that because Kani is a native Xhosa speaker, using the language just made sense.
"Ryan and I went back and forth and talked about it, and I said it just makes sense," McGuire said. "If that's who you started with, that's your king of Wakanda, that's who it is, that's the language."7comments
What do you think about this new Infinity War footage? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Avengers: Infinity War releases on April 27th. Black Panther is now in theaters. Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6th, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.