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‘Prometheus’ Secret Revealed: What Did David Say To The Engineer?

Prometheus
20th Century Fox

See that guy up above? He’s what they call an Engineer in the new Ridley Scott movie ‘Prometheus‘ and if you haven’t seen it, then this news post will contain some spoilers. If you have seen it, it will shed some light on a  key scene within the film.

If you’ll recall, near the end of the picture, the android David (played by Michael Fassbender) speaks to an Engineer. But no one knows what he’s saying. Or do they? The website Bioscopist decided they’d do the world a favor and break it down for fans, since Damon Lindelof couldn’t be bothered to let everyone know what the hell was going on in the movie.

Here’s an excerpt from Bioscopist explaining what actually transpires between android and Engineer:

In the scene David is learning the building blocks of language and we see him taking a lesson in Proto-Indo-European (PIE) Linguistics, where a holographic professor, takes him through the ABC’s and recites Schleicher’s Fable. An artificial text composed in the reconstructed PIE, in 1868, to demonstrate the language’s use.

hjewɪs jasmə hwælnə nahəst akʷunsəz dadʳkta (Translated as: a sheep that had no wool saw horses) – Excerpt from Schleicher’s Fable – The Sheep and the Horses

The ‘Professor’ in the clip is in fact the real-life linguistics consultant used for the film and taught Michael Fassbender (David) the dialogue. I managed to track down the consultant, a Dr. Anil Biltoo of the SOAS Language Centre in London, to see if he could shed some light on the mysterious final scene. He was most helpful and provided the following:

The line that David speaks to the Engineer (which is from a longer sequence that didn’t make the final edit) is as follows:

/ida hmanəm aɪ kja namṛtuh zdɛ:taha/…/ghʷɪvah-pjorn-ɪttham sas da:tṛ kredah/

A serviceable translation into English is:

‘This man is here because he does not want to die. He believes you can give him more life’.”

That actually explains quite a bit because Weyland wanted to travel to the planet and meet these guys so he could find a way to live forever. (That didn’t quite work out as he had planned.) According to Dr. Biltoo, there was an actual conversation between David and the Engineer, we just didn’t see it in the theatrical cut. Why they cut that out, and didn’t provide subtitles, we’ll never know. Maybe they’re worried they won’t sell any DVDs.

While this sheds some light on the story of Prometheus, it doesn’t really matter since the movie itself was as empty and void as that conversation we witnessed. Maybe we’ll get something better with the sequel. Like subtitles.

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