Tarzan the Linguist

Tarzan the Linguist?


By now it’s become pretty clear to those who follow upcoming movies that David Yates and Alexander Skarsgard’s Tarzan is not the “Me Tarzan, You Jane” character of about 70% of the movies that have been previously released. In the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels, Tarzan was a gifted linguist who learned many languages over the course of his lifetime. The Language Journal offered a nice look at Tarzan the linguist on the occasion of his 100th anniversary.

Tarzan, Ape-Man and Linguist

One hundred years ago, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel about a feral child who was raised by great apes somewhere in the African jungles was published in a magazine. The novel was called Tarzan of the Apes. It was about Tarzan’s adventures in the jungle and his encounters with both humans and animals. In 1914, Burroughs’ novel was finally published in book form. Today, there are hundreds of works based on Burroughs’ character Tarzan in different media. Tarzan of the Apes has spawned several comic books, movies, television shows and even a stage play.

The heroic adventurer celebrates his 100th birthday this year. There hasn’t been much interest in Tarzan lately because there are no new movies or television shows about Burroughs’ ape-man. The last Tarzan movie that enjoyed worldwide release was an animated Disney movie back in 1999. One of the closest adaptations of Tarzan of the Apes was the 1984 film Greystoke The Legend of Tarzan Lord of the Apes. The best way to learn more about Tarzan is through Burroughs’ novels. Here’s a sneak peak into the fictional character Tarzan and the man who created him.

Read the rest at The Language Journal.

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