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As the title says, what were the words that the people in the prison chanted when anyone attempted to climb out of it? What language was it in?

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4 Answers 4

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The prisoners we chanting "Deshi Basara", which is Arabic for "He Rises".ref

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    More specifically, they were chanting "Deshi deshi basara basara"
    – Plutor
    Jul 30, 2012 at 18:05
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    Actually, listen to the chant and you can hear exactly what is said: youtube.com/watch?v=_EgHhH4com4 Jul 30, 2012 at 18:25
  • I'm not sure where that track came from, but it's not exactly what you hear in the movie: youtube.com/…
    – Plutor
    Jul 30, 2012 at 18:35
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    According to some anonymous user: "Actually it is Mongolian дээшээ босорой: "Rise up" Transliterated it is Deshee basara." If someone can post this as Community, that would be great ;) Oct 29, 2014 at 3:51
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As you can hear around 1:04 in the trailer, the chant is:

Deshi deshi basara basara

The film-makers used UJAM to solicit hundreds of tracks from fans to make what you hear in the movie. The phonetic transliteration they put there was:

Deh-Shay Deh-Shay Bah-Sah-Rah!

It is reportedly Moroccan Arabic, and it's translated as "he rises" or "rise up" (cite) -- although tvtropes.com says it literally means "come quickly".

Here's a bit from an interview with Hans Zimmer about the chant.

Wikipedia has it written as تيجي بسرعة, which Google Translate pronounces approximately right and translates as Arabic for Teghi quickly (that first word is just a transliteration, but an alternate translation of the first word is "flies").

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  • Sorry but It's not arabic and specially not moroccan arabic. Deshi or basara are not arabic words. I'm Moroccan.
    – user11387
    Dec 16, 2012 at 15:42
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on wikipedia, it says the phrase they used in arabic was 'teejee b'sur3a', so they came a long way to end up with 'deshi basara'. yes, it does mean 'come quickly', which is a bit silly really. it isn't necessarily moroccan arabic, anyone would understand that phrase, except the chant used in the movie sounds nothing like it

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  • Welcome to Sci-Fi and Fantasy! Thank you for your answer. Do you have a link / citation? Jan 16, 2013 at 10:30
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deshi basara is actually tiji bsoraa meaning 'come quickly' and not 'he rises' despite all your research. It really is quite elementary, the writers of the movie didn't do their due diligence.

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    Hello and welcome to Scifi.SE! Maybe you can add some source for your statement? Thx!
    – Kalissar
    Sep 14, 2013 at 14:44

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