WTF Fun Fact 13059 – The Minionese “Language”

Have you seen “Minions,” “Despicable Me,” or “Despicable Me 2”? If so, you may have heard the Minion characters speaking their own language. All Minions are voiced by Pierre Coffin, who also created the language called Minionese.

Minionese and other made-up languages

From Klingon to Elvish, storytellers have been making up their own languages for years. And some fans have ever learned how to speak them.

According to the Motion Picture Association, Minionese is “the lexical version of a hearty stew, made up of words from multiple languages, expressed not only vocally, but through the Minions’ physical comedy. While the creation of Minionese makes narrative sense now that the Minions have a rich backstory…Coffin’s goal was for the audience to understand Minionese without actually knowing the exact verbiage through the Minions huge range of vocal melodies and inflections, as well as their physical actions.”

It takes an interesting mind to create such a dynamic method of communication!

Creating language

Coffin’s first task was creating a backstory for Minions Kevin, Stuart, and Bob. The characters are part of a nomadic tribe in search of a master. In the course of their journey, they’ve taken on bits of different languages they’ve come across. In fact, there are elements of Egyptian, French, and even Transylvanian.

But each character’s intonation means a lot to the language as well. All three Minions have different ways of vocalizing.

According to Coffin:

“You don’t understand their words, you don’t understand their grammar, but you do understand when they’re in a position of conflict, if they’re sad or if they’re happy.”

He actually started building the language while watching silent films. That helped him understand how visual communication would play an integral role in having characters speak something no one had ever heard (but needed to understand if they were going to follow the plot).

When Coffin gets stuck on a line of Minion dialog, he just turns to other languages:

“Every time I got stuck in a sequence or in a shot where I need to express something, I have my Indian or Chinese menu handy. I also know a little bit of Spanish, Italian, Indonesian and Japanese. So I have all these sources of inspiration for their words. I just pick one that doesn’t express something by the meaning, but rather the melody of the words.”  WTF fun facts

Source: “Here’s How They Created Minionese, the Language of the Minions” — Motion Picture Association

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WTF Fun Fact 12452 – The 11 Fingers of Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks – what a gas! The comedian and director of Young Frankenstein decided to celebrate his memorialization at Hollywood’s Chinese Theatre by giving fans the finger. The 11th finger, that is.

It was back in 2014, but it’ll be with us (in cement, at least) forever.

It’s true; Mel Brooks had 11 fingers when he pressed his hands in the cement at the ceremony to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his film Young Frankenstein. But one was a prosthetic.

A mere 88 years young at the time, Brooks explained his shenanigans later that same day on Conan O’Brien’s Late Show:

“I wanted to do something just a little different, I didn’t know what,” he told O’Brien. “So I got another finger.”

At the time of the ceremony, he joked around with his son: “About time, huh,” Max Brooks reportedly said. “Comedians never get their fair share of recognition in Hollywood…”

At the time, Mel Brooks gave a heartfelt thanks to his fans, saying: “I want to thank you all for being here and being part of the wonderful charade. I really love it.”

The charade involved an extra finger, but it seems it was one of the polite ones.

Now age 95, we’re just happy Mel is around to keep us laughing. – WTF fun facts

Source: “Mel Brooks brings extra finger to Hollywood handprint ceremony” — CBS News

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