Minionese (The Minion Language)
During the various movies and mini-movies of the franchise, we hear the minion characters speaking what at first sounds like gibberish. However, upon closer analysis, it becomes clear that they are actually speaking words which sound vaguely familiar. This is because they are, in fact, doing just that. The minion language, developed by directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, incorporates aspects of many real-world languages, including French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Filipino and English...and individual minionese words are mirrors of words from those languages. Of course, there are many instances when the voice actors (Coffin, Renaud and a couple of others) also are speaking gibberish too.
In the absence of an official Minionese phrase book (from either Universal Pictures or Illumination Entertainment, the copyright owners), anything which can be found on the internet (or elsewhere) about the minion language is simply fan interpretation of what is heard on screen. And there are many internet sites which have a minion lexicon. Many are echoes of what is found on similar sites, and there are also variations on words in the language, based on how they were heard by a certain fan.
Perhaps either Universal or Illumination will release an official lexicon or phrasebook someday. Until then, the minion language is pretty much left up to individual interpretation, as nothing yet posted on the internet falls into the official or canon categories (as noted above, there are various interpretations...and everyone seems to think that theirs is the only correct one. Many people are quite passionate about that too, so you have been forewarned).
As an additional resource, here is a well-written article about the language and its development.
However, before we delve into the language itself, here is a brief video, from Illumination Entertainment's YouTube page, about it:
So let's have a look at the minion language. Below I have broken the minion words and phrases in alphabetical order, given not only concurrence with what else appears on the internet, but upon my own careful hearing and interpretation of the spoken words. I have added some that no other internet site has...which means what I added will also include my own interpretation of any given word or phrase as it translates to English. Some words are equivalent or similar to their English counterparts, others to other real-world languages. In some cases, I have provided a pronunciation example in parentheses right after the word. It is worth noting that, in the case of some Minionese words, such as the word for "stop", there is more than one pronunciation (in this case, either "stopa" or "stupa", depending upon how the particular voice actor pronounced the word on screen).
ama - arm
aya! - hey!
banana - banana
bananonina - ugly
bapple - apple
bee do - general alarm sound
bella - pretty/beautiful
bello - hello
bido - I'm sorry
bomba - bomb
bulaka - "what's going on here?"
chaisy - chair
con - like/as (comparative adjective)
du - you
dul - two
gelato - ice cream
gli (pronounced like the Italian "gli"...sounds similar to "li") - he/it
hana - one
kanpai! - cheers
kaput - broken
la - the/a/an
la batima ki? - how about this?
la batima no? - how about no?
la boda - marriage
la piñata - swatter (fly swatter)
le bi do? - you okay?
makara na - what is a.../what's a...
makari do (pronounced "mahkahree doh")? - what's wrong with you?
makaro! - I give up!
matoka - I'm hungry
me (pronounced "meh") - me
me ti amo - I love you
me li dua - I'll do it
mi - my
moka! - damn!
(also general expression of frustration or determination)
na, du, throo! - ready, set, go!
ooh la la! - oh brother!/oy vey!
papagena - beautiful/sweetheart/baby
(term of romantic affection)
papoi (sometimes spelled/pronounced "baboi") - toy
para tu - for you
po ka - what
poopaye - goodbye
pula nola matoka - I'm really hungry
pwede na? - can we start?
pwego! - fire! (a gun)
sae - three
sika (pronounced "seeka" or sometimes "seega") - watch/look
sopa - shut up
speta - watch/look
stupa/stopa - stop
tank yu - thank you
tatata bala tu - I hate you
teka badaboom! - ready the cannon!
tu - you
tulalioo ti amo - we love you