A guide to the Minions language

We chat to the directors of the yellow fellows' spin-off movie about how their unique style of speech was born

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If you go along to see Despicable Me spin-off Minions this weekend, you might find yourself wondering exactly what the little yellow chaps are saying the whole time. Is their language nonsense – or are we supposed to understand some of what it means?

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RadioTimes.com put the question to the film’s directors Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, and their answers might surprise you. As the two reveal in the video above, the language isn’t exactly meant to be understood – but it isn’t gibberish either.

“I don’t think it’s really necessary that you understand the words that they’re saying,” says Balda. “Although Pierre did spend a lot of time trying to find funny words that would be entertaining to listen to.”

And a lot of those “funny words” weren’t just made up – the Minions are truly international, as Coffin went on to explain.

“We sort of established that these guys have been around, like, forever, serving masters all over the world,” he said, “and it gave us some sort of licence 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.”

Looks like we’ll be dusting off the phrasebooks before we try speaking Minion, then…

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Minions is in cinemas now, and you can read our review here