24 April 2010

The Circle of Life!

I recently downloaded the African chant from the beginning of The Circle of Life as my ringtone.  It's awesome.

People laugh when I sing along... and CJ asked me what the lyrics translate to.  I don't know.  Let's look it up.  I knew it's in Zulu. I read the chant was created by Lebo M., who is from South Africa.  The rest of the song is music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice:

Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba
Sithi uhm ingonyama
Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba
Sithi uhhmm ingonyama

Siyo Nqoba
Ingonyama nengw' enamabala

Translates to:

Here comes a lion, Father
Oh yes, it's a lion

Here comes a lion, Father
Oh yes, it's a lion
A lion

We're going to conquer
A lion and a leopard come to this open place

I think the Zulu lyrics sound a lot more impressive.

I noticed this Baba meaning father, and it rings a bell. Isn't baba the word for father in a few other languages? Sure is!

Language develops from function and necessity. Seeing as how baba is one of the easiest syllables for babies to pronounce, along with "mama," "papa" and "dada," it has become the word for father in a lot of languages like Albanian, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Greek, Hindi, Bangla, Persian, Swahili, Turkish.

The Middle Eastern word "baba" (as in Ali Baba) is rather a term of endearment, and is ultimately derived from Persian بابا (bābā), “‘father’”) (from Old Persian pāpa; as opposed to the Arabic words ابو (’ábu) and أب (’ab), as well as the Turkish word ata; see also Papak) , and is linguistically related to the common European word papa and the word pope, having the same Indo-European origin.

It's a great ringtone.


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