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A Translation of What David Said to the Engineer in Prometheus

Source Name:

The Bioscopist

Source Url:

http://thebioscopist.com/2012/06/20/the-linguistics-of-prometheus-what-david-says-to-the-engineer/

Post Thumb:

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Prometheus has been in theatres for a few weeks now, and one thing that’s been bugging a lot of people is the mysterious monologue that android David speaks to the alien Engineer in the final scenes of the film without subtitles. Well, be bugged no longer!

The Bioscopist tracked down Dr. Anil Biltoo of the SOAS Language Centre in London, the real-life linguistics consultant used for the film, to see if he could shed some light on things, and he provided the following info:

The line that David speaks to the Engineer (which is from a longer sequence that didn’t make the final edit) is: “/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.”

As for that longer sequence which Ridley Scott filmed but ultimately cut, the good doctor told the site: “We’re all going to have to wait for the director’s cut to see if the conversation between the Engineer and David – and there was indeed originally a conversation, not merely an utterance from David – yields any fruit.”

Be sure to click the link below for more details, such as a reminder of the scene in which 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. The professor in the clip is in fact Dr. Biltoo. Prometheus star Michael Fassbender spent 17 hours reciting Schleicher’s Fable, committing it to memory, only to have Ridley Scott use only the first line in the film. Talk about dedication!

A Translation of What David Said to the Engineer in Prometheus

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Debi Moore

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  • Terminal

    I know there’s a longer cut of Prometheus but I doubt it’ll make this movie any less incoherent or dunderheaded in the long run.

  • Shambling_in_Bandages

    Ah, so it’s a variation on the old “I want more life, fucker” demand? That never ends well, does it?