NOTE: Obviously, this post contains spoilers.
Stu Holmes of The Bioscopist interviewed Dr. Anil Biltoo of the SOAS Language Centre in London, who served as the Linguist Teacher on Ridley Scott‘s Prometheus. In his chat learned what David (Michael Fassbender) said to the Engineer at the end of the film as there were no subtitles and it has been something many have wondered given what happens next.
Is David uttering nonsense or is there an actual language being spoken here? Stu has the answers for us as he first mentions the scene in which we see David studying Proto-Indo-European (PIE) Linguistics, in which a holographic professor, takes him through the ABC’s and recites “Schleicher’s Fable.”
The holographic professor in this scene actually is Dr. Biltoo and he isn’t at all against revealing what it is Fassbender’s David says at the end of the film (listen to some isolated audio from the scene here):
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.”
Biltoo also said, “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.”
Scott has spoken of upwards of 30 additional minutes that will be available on the Blu-ray, but as to whether these minutes will be incorporated back into the film in the fashion of a director’s cut (which Scott has done for numerous of his films) or will simply be included as deleted and/or extended scenes remains to be seen. You can preorder the Blu-ray here, but a release date has not yet been announced.
Interestingly, it would seem David’s statement is rather innocent and since we didn’t know what he was saying originally we could assume David had either bungled his translation or had ulterior motives. Now it seems the lengthier discussion may be where the Engineer’s anger originated from.
If you haven’t yet joined the discussion pertaining to the film you can read my personal dissection and theories here and thanks again to Stu for forwarding along the information he gained from Dr. Biltoo.
I’m curious, does this new found piece of information takeaway or add to your curiosity surrounding the scene?